The Family Line Part 151 – Theomin’s Book

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Part 151 – Theomin’s Book

A day passed on the farm in the Wold. The day was a warm and muggy day; a typical kind weather Theomin remembered for the Wold. Tall clouds drifted in the skies as they headed eastward toward the Brown Lands. The smell of pine was in the air as the local pine tree, which was still standing between the two houses of their farm, gave out its beautiful smell.

As Theomin woke in his own bed, he remembered the last morning he woke from his bed so long ago. No thought of any other part of Middle Earth had entered his mind as he was an innocent boy back then. As he was laying there along in his bed and in his thoughts, he felt that he had seen more than any other person in their family, he had done more than any other person in his family, and had befriended more people from other cultures than anyone else in his family.

An almost beautiful feeling that was to him, knowing that he had done so much and grown so much more than any of his family would ever grow. But with all that growth and all that he had done, he would have rather given it all up just to be there with his family when the trouble started and the brigands and the Easterlings and the orcs came. Or would he have been removed from his home anyway and taken to the east and fought there with his father in Gondor?

His father was off in another part of Middle Earth. The last he heard the army of Rohan fought in Gondor and then headed to Mordor. What befell the army of the West in Mordor? Theomin knew not and neither did his family know the fate of the patriarch of the family. Did his father die in the battles that took place in the east or did he still live. No word was brought to the Wold of who had died and who had lived in that war. Other families in other parts of Rohan knew of their fallen kin from both Helm’s Deep and the war at Minus Tirith. But such word had not spread yet to the Wold. A certain calm that brought Theomin feeling that not a member of the Wold had perished in the war. But such feelings of calm did not last as he knew the awful state of the Wold when he returned. Perhaps they had not heard of such a fate because the messenger had not lived to tell of the fate of their families.

Perhaps time will only sneak by and if there was no word from Eolf, that would be the sign that yes indeed, he had fallen. Only then would there be some solace. But then knowing his death took place, Theomin only hoped that he had not suffered. It was a hopefully swift death. But thinking of his father’s death was a terrible thought. He was only trying to stay positive about his father. He wanted to get out of bed and hopefully find Eotheron’s family.

He stood up and looked at all the items he had from Eriador. His book of lore that he used so often. The cloak, black with a cloth that was so fine it seemed to be made from the elves. His blanket that he brought with him from Rohan. The blanket that held the single seven-sided star on it. Lastly, his map that he pulled out last that had the places on Eriador marked. He remembered obsessing over that map wondering what it meant. He could not believe what would come from that map that he had from the Gondrian Tower. He thought back at all those places and began to suddenly miss them, as if he felt he would never see them again. It became overwhelming for a bit but he knew he had to compose himself and join his mother.

His mother was already working on breakfast he came to her. She gave him a kiss on the cheek as Eleswith also came into the house. She sat down at the table and started, “Those boys of yours are viscous, perky little gents aren’t they? They like to hide behind the barn and snicker at me as I am walking over here. Why do they do such things?”

“They have always been like that,” Theomin said. “They are curious about you but have not the knowhow to speak with you. They are interested in you. They have never seen a girl from Dale before.”

“Nor have I,” Theomin’s mother chimed in. “Your people must be a very beautiful people.”

“That is very kind of you to say,” Eleswith blushed. “I think those here in Rohan are particularly good looking, though the blonde hair is a bit striking at first. I am used to the darker colored hair, like up in Breeland. Their hair is just as dark, if not darker, than mine. But I have noticed all around the places that we have gone to, no skin is as dark as mine. Curious that is.”

“It is curious,” Eothea said, “but not completely strange. I think it gives you a look of exoticness that others here in Rohan do not have.”

“Well I appreciate that,” Eleswith said with a smile. “Have we anything to do today? Are we going to look for Eotheron’s family again today?”

Theomin sighed. “I wish we could. I know not what happened to that poor family’s farm, but not is left. I remember seeing no sign of them in Floodwend when we were there. Harwick may be a decent place to check today.”

“That place is a lost cause,” Eothea said. “Such a shame that it was sacked by those filthy Easterlings. I only hope that Reeve Harding’s son can really rebuild that town at least close to its former glory.”

“I believe it will,” Theomin said. “I believe it will be rebuilt to its former glory.”

The rest of the morning was spent eating and preparing for the journey to Hardwick. They quickly packed a few things and left the farm. Theomin took Aches, the little Lynx that Eothea has taken to naming “Rascal,” for all the messes it has caused and the many time it spooked the horses. The boys and Ealyn have enjoyed his company though. But without Theomin’s supervision, little Aches would cause a lot of mischief.

It was close to noon when they reached the gate of Harwick. It was a burned mess inside and out. Though a few men and women were aiding in the repair of the city. It was made easier from the lack of bandits coming and stealing their tools and goods. Little did they know it was with the thanks of Theomin’s doing. Through the repair effort, new wood was being cut as the old burned wood of the palisades were knocked down. The stables were torn down and the tents of the rohirrim were pulled off their poles. Flags were replaced, and old burned fences were pulled off their stakes and replaced with newer slats of wood. Slowly, the town was being repaired, but it still had a long way to go. Guards were few and those that were there were old, too many years to they lived, but willing they were to risk their lives for the sake of the city they loved.

As Theomin and Eleswith continued through the streets of the once proud city, not a sign of his friend’s family was there. They traveled up and down the city streets, checked in houses, looked at all the refugees of other communities. Not one person did Theomin see from Eotheron’s family. Even the refugees from Langhold were no longer there. Fear crept into the heart of Theomin as he was fearful that even those who survived the sack of Langhold did not survive the sacking of Harwick. He leaned his back on a nearby rock and looked at all the devastation.

“What is it?” Eleswith asked.

“All of those families of Langhold who survived their town being burned could not make it out of here with their lives,” he sadly said. “I cannot even find the lady whose husband died in Langhold nor could I find the one elderly woman who told me about the lady who took me from the Gondorian tower in the Norcrofts. They are gone, all of them. I weep for them and for what they must have seen. Terrible it must have been.”

“Theomin?” a voice came from nearby the pond. A girl, maybe a teenager, was standing and looking at Theomin as she waved her hand for him to see. It was Eotheron’s sister who always had such disdain for her brother daring ways. But that day, she seemed genuinely glad to see Theomin. “Where have you been? Where has Eotheron been? We have all been so worried. Did he go to the war?”

Theomin prepared for this moment for a very long time. He knew exactly what he was going to tell Eotheron’s family. He would tell them of his bravery and his willingness accompany him on his quests. But that moment, all of that was dropped and he was speechless. He looked at Eotheron’s sister and could not say anything. He just looked at her with fear mixed with sadness until he finally said to her, “Perhaps it would be wise to talk to you and your family about it.”

“Why?” the girl asked as she placed her hand over her mouth. “Is it bad?” Theomin just nodded and the sister said, “Okay, this way.” On the way to the house, Theomin could hear the girl talking with herself, almost panting as she seemed to be crying. They reached the house, nearby the pond. It was modest, but not enough to fit the entire family for long. “Father has gone off to the war, so it has only been my brothers, mom and I.”

They entered the small house. It was tight but livable. They were all sitting at the table. The boys looked as though they had not had a bath in a very long time and the mother’s hair was unkempt and her dress was in tatters. What Theomin and Eleswith saw of the family was that they were barely surviving in the modest little home.

“Theomin,” Eotheron’s mother came to give Theomin a hug. She then looked around, “but where is Eotheron? Where is my son?” Theomin looked down and upon doing so Eotheron’s mother collapsed on the nearby chair. Her mouth was agape and she looked off seemingly to nowhere. After a few moments, when she was able to piece a few words together through her despair, “How did it happen?”

Theomin told his mother of the man who they trusted who killed Eotheron. He told of Eotheron’s bravery of how he went to save that man, Teryndir, despite the battle that was going on around them. He told how Eotheron saved him and his friends. He told of Theomin’s delight when he saw Eotheron in the North Downs and how he became an integral part of their kinship. “He was a good man. Every day I have missed him.”

Eotheron’s mother whispered to Theomin as she seemed still in a state of shock, “I suppose it was meant to be. He has always been an adventurous boy. And that he had been until the end. We were always meant to lose him. I am so glad to have had him for the many years I had him. I just hoped we would not be so soon.”

“He changed,” Theomin said. “He was not as adventurous at the end of his life. I remembered him as a person who acted first and faced the consequences later. He was not like that in the end. He was a more calculating and responsible man. I will always miss him as he was not only my friend, but he was my brother.”

Eotheron’s brothers came to his mother as did his sister. They all embraced as their tears began to run and their mother tried to comfort them. “It is okay, babies. Mama’s going to be strong for you. Mama’s going to be strong.” She looked up at Theomin and just mouthed without saying, “Thank you.”

The two left outside the door. The pond was beautiful and they looked at it for a long time, gazing at its simplicity as two swans flew in and landed in the pond as they floated effortlessly. It was a beautiful thing amongst such devastation all around it. Children came running around the pond, happily playing with no fear or anxiety. It was strange how such a simple thing like a swans in a small pond in the middle of the town could give them such a warm feeling. Eleswith then had to go and sit as she suddenly looked exhausted.

“What is it?” Theomin asked.

“I am finding it tougher to journey these days,” Eleswith said as she rubbed her stomach.

“Is it the baby?” Theomin asked.

“I feel it is,” she said. “I  have wanted to stay here for a while but now I know I cannot.” She looked at Theomin and continued, “I want my baby to be born in Dale. I will not be able to journey with my child if it is already born before I leave. It will be too much of a burden.”

“Are you sure with your exhaustion it is not a already burden?” Theomin asked.

“No,” she said as she laughed. “It just makes things a little more difficult, but nowhere near a burden.” Eleswith looked down with a sigh, “I wanted to stay at least until something was sent here, but now I know it will not happen and I will be forced to leave before it arrives.”

“What is coming here?” Theomin asked curiously.

“I care not to tell you yet,” she said with a knowing laugh. “I wish I could see your face when you look upon it. It would bring me such joy. But alas, I am forced not to tell you. I gave a promised not to.”

Theomin looked at Eleswith with curiosity. But he did not want to discuss that as he knew she was already exhausted and wanted not to bring her any more stress than she already had. He knew he would just have to wait. “Then when would you be leaving us?”

“I feel I may have another few weeks here in the Wold,” she said. “I will not be able to stay after that time.”

“I am sorry that you will not stay here, at least until we find the families of Langhold,” Theomin said sadly.

Eleswith stood and walked away from Theomin. It was the first time he had noticed the gate of her walk was different. Her stomach had changed too. Not the sunken in and thin stomach she once had. It was protruding out just the slightest bit. She removed Helesdir’s hat and as she did so, her hair fell and for a moment, it seemed as though it was longer than he remembered. She looked at Helesdir’s hat and slightly caressed it and held it to her face as she rubbed it against her cheek. She then rubbed her stomach as she looked out on the city of Harwick.

“I have been thinking,” Eleswith said. “What lesson could I have learned from this whole time away from Dale; a lesson to tell my child someday when we are at home. Something that my little one could take to heart and I would be proud of. What would I be able to tell him of my adventures in Eriador that I could impart to him as a good message. I have been thinking of all the evil in this world. All the terrible things that happened to us in Eriador and all the evil men that seemed to be a never-ending stream. But then I thought, there was an end. Not all men are evil. Not all people do evil things because they have not evil in their hearts. I look at these people here rebuilding this town and rebuilding this land and their lives. I see it just the same as in Annuminas. There are always more men that do good than there are who are evil at heart. I look over the good common folk of this city and I am reminded that there are always more kind-hearted folk than there are evil men in this world. Such a thing to realize I think is a beautiful feeling and it has suddenly filled me with warmth. As if I am suddenly wrapped in a warm blanket of comfort. I cannot describe that feeling to you, but can you not see the hope that brings me?” Theomin only nodded in agreement. “And what of you? Have you anything that you can tell your family that you learned while in Eriador?”

Theomin thought for a moment. He tried to take in what Eleswith said and use that but alas, he could not think of any advice close to hers. He instead went with what he had witnessed from Eleswith since the day they met. “I have seen evil men do evil things. I have also seen good men do evil things. Not all people who do evil things are purely evil at heart. Sure, they may come to do evil in their lives, but I feel they are forced to do so and may not want to commit such acts of evil. People change, sometimes because of being forced to change, but sometimes out of their own hearts. A good person could sometimes do evil deeds, which is what I have seen from you: a good person who had committed evil acts can still be a good person. I see that with you but I am also trying to learn that myself. I hope that all who love me can see that I am still a good person. I know I have seen that in you too. I know who killed Bree’s mayor’s son. I know you did it but it was out of your hands. You were forced to do it but can you not see that out of such a horrible deed, some good came from it. You met some wonderful people. Magla, brave and passionate with a strong heart and a strong mind. Sergee, kind with a beautiful heart and a great strength in battle. Helesdir, the father of your child. A man with a strong will and strong morals. He was brave to give his life so that we may keep ours. Now, with the baby in your womb, he lives inside of you. He will be a good person because Helesdir was a good person. He will be a good person because you are a good person. That is all I can say that I have learned. You can take that any way you like. But I am honored, truly honored, to have known you and all of our friends. All of us who bonded over triumph, over sadness, and over love on all our adventures together.

From Theomin’s hand,

It has been two weeks now that Eleswith has gone. What she meant to me is beyond measure and I wish her only the best with her child and in Dale. What she said was coming was no small surprise. A book came which chronicled all that had gone on during my journey north. This book arrived but a day ago. It spans from my time in the Wold and the events of Langhold to Helm’s Deep and Kaymel. It spans the meeting of the Warriors of Eriador in the Lone Lands to the meeting of Gerald in Bree. It covers the taking of Annuminas to the retaking of the city and beyond. This is a fantastic book and I cannot believe all of it has been chronicled for me. The hours it must have taken to write this book to its detail had to be long. I must give the author his due.

Malga, the author of this book, said once before that if he was not a warrior, he would have been a writer or a poet. Through this book, he has proven to be an careful writer. I cannot stress the painstaking detail that he went through, delving into what I did in Rohan, the horrors that we faced in Eriador, and the love we all shared and lost. I cannot stress how amazing this made me feel to have all my adventures here in one book. Now I can show it to my mother so she could have a real sense of what it was like for me, for us, on this adventure. Perhaps some day I will be able to go back to Eriador if only to thank Magla for this remarkable gift he has given to me.

As of now, my father still has not come back. But there is hope. A message has come from Gondor speaking of a band of men that has been enslaved in Mordor. They are a band of men from Gondor and Rohan that have been taken and have not been found since. Perhaps my father is among them. If so, maybe one day, I will see him again. Maybe one day, I will go to him. But today, regarding this book, “The Family Line,” the one that has recorded what really happened on my journey to the northern kingdoms, it is at last, finished.

2 comments

  1. Simply, Thank you! I hope you enjoyed writing it as much as we did reading it.
    Now, on to The Family Line 2, Aches Adventure!

    • timhedden /

      I absolutely loved writing and sharing my story. Thank you for keeping interest through the whole thing. I appreciated all the words you’ve shared throughout the three year. If there’s demand, maybe there will be another. I certainly have planty ideas floating around in my head.

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