A tale by Brathodir (Taerandor)
The untold story of Eardborn and Raebidus – Part One:
Empty hallways filled with the screams of pain and suffering; torches flickering along the stony walls. Raebidus ran as fast has his feet could carry him. He was heavily over encumbered by the steel swords he had been crafting in Esteldín. The arms of combat and war were his profit; his bread and butter. Raebidus looked back one last time at the entryway of the halls. The screams chanted the dark tones of his ill conscience. He turned his head, saddled up on his steed, cracked the whip before the ears of the two horses and rode away. One last scream took its heavy toll on Raebidus’ mind before turning the corner: “I do this for you, my love. We cannot be together…” he whispered to himself. His face turned from sorrowful to stone in an instant. With his emotions suppressed, the course was set for Bree and his contact. The weapons had to and would be delivered on time. Raebidus was never late.
The wind stirred the beautiful green lush of grass and bushels with a brisk morning breeze. The summer had set it its warm stare upon the flourishing leaves of Ered Liun. The elves were busy: Scholars each had a bunch of elven pupils eagerly following and paying undivided attention. Upon the hilltop a little elven boy sat with a stick. He looked strong quite strong for a boy of his age. With his eyes closed he enjoyed another gentle push of the Ered Luin winds. He opened his eyes and looked down. He felt tall and mighty. With a quick jump he got on his feet and ran past two boulders and scaled the fence that ran parallel to the crumbled road and joined the other scholars. “Why do you keep that silly stick around?” one of the scholars asked. He didn’t reply and instead turned his head to look at a tree not more than a few paces from their location. He crawled calmly towards the roots of the tree and took a little knife out and carved Eard onto the crisp bark of a dying tree. “If I write my name on you we will be bound. I don’t want you to die.” The boy sat in front of the tree and stared on his name: ‘Eard’.
“Are you coming?” The scholars yelled from a distance. Eard flashed his white teeth in a smile and got up. He left the stick at the tree so it would not be alone anymore. The door closed as Eard entered the building, yet ready for another lesson in elven history.
“Your books, mellón. You must not forget them!” Eard grabbed them with haste before leaving. Energetic and with his chest risen, brown cloak fluttering behind him, he jumped out the window and into the flowerbed beneath, skilfully avoiding any unnecessary damage to both beauty and life. He walked slowly, gently caressing every leaf on his right as he passed. He was going to visit the tree where he left his stick so many years ago. Eard had been held up on expeditions with his peers in the Bree-lands. They had been studying the goblins of Lone-lands that had been scavenging for scraps amongst the campsites on the borders. It had been a fruitful endeavour to his class. Similar goblins had invaded and conquered and their behaviour was the same: venture out, scrounge, and jump scholars and merchants. The Dwarves of Gondamon had long required assistance with the goblin intrusion in Ered Luin, but no help from the Elven Scholars and Lore-Masters: they lived to study, to learn, and to record in solitude. The school or guild of scholars and Lore-Masters had a certain set of tenets, one of which was never to interfere in the affairs of other’s, unless the school or students faced danger themselves. They observed and nothing more; every action that otherwise would defy the tenets lead to severe punishment. Repetition meant expulsion. This is one of the milder and grey-area codes set by the school. Harsher ones were directly derived from Saruman the White of Isengard. There were older scholars and Lore-Masters who followed the tenets to the letter and others who would be less strict with them. This created a rather great divide between the two and much bickering and battles of wit and words would fill the corridors of the school.
Eard had spent most of his life in the school and only would he visit his mother when the seasons allowed it. Such was the time and season. Eard would first visit the tree, his tree if you will, before he would travel the long miles to his home. Eard liked to differ between school, where he practically lived, and home with hearth and warmth of love from a mother he holds dear.
Upon the arrival at his tree, he noticed the stick had somehow become part of the tree itself. Nearly half had merged with the trunk and small buds had started to form. Now that he thought about it the tree looked more vibrant, more alive. Abnormally large leaves had formed atop the tree. Eard reached for one and picked it from the tree. It was soft like silk and the smell reminded him of the fresh morning rain on the meadows of The Shire. Intoxicated by the leaf he blinked once, sat down in front of the tree and touched the visible root that had surfaced over the years. He blinked once more and took a small bite of the leaf in his hand. He felt a surge to his head, a rush of power. He inhaled and further let the energy flow to his head, momentarily held his breath, and upon exhalation the surge of power continued to flow throughout his body. Eard felt the presence of life that surrounded him: he felt the soft grass under him, the small creak not far away. He felt how the wind touched the fields of green and how playfully the crowns of each tree in the vicinity acted to the air. And gone, just like that. Moments of connecting with life vanished within him. “What was I supposed to do again?” Eard fumbled around trying actively to forget and let go of the experience he just had. Clumsily he reached for the root and stood up. He blinked a few times repeatedly to overcome the sudden urge for sleep and left the tree to itself once more. “Right, I have to visit her”. He looked back at the tree; naked and seemingly lifeless. Curious…
In the fields of Celondim, amidst the thick foliage, was a small elven cottage. A woman was sitting, obviously enjoying the baking sun from above. The breeze swayed the long, green grass. The tips of every blade grazed Eard’s leg. The crusty dirt that paved the road ahead was a familiar and missed experience.
Every step was heavy, lingering, and pleasing. Both of his leather shoes were safely tugged away in his backpack and only the Hobbit-like, bare feet trotting was left as a natural pleasure. It felt like his heart grew with every step forward; Agony, the swelling feeling within would soon reach his eyes. However, his mother shed tears of joy ahead of him which only strengthened his resolve not to follow through with his own emotions. She arose in full elven figure: Tall and beautiful; young, fair skin, and auburn hair reaching her waist. Her beauty unchallenged by neither the sun nor the moon: Radiant glow to her white, fair skin like the frost of a winter’s morning upon the flower’s red. Her eyes, enchanting stars flickering lightly and playfully; sieging your very soul to break down all barriers and leave you exposed, vulnerable, and utterly accepted. If there would ever be competition to her impressive exterior, it would be the first starlight of the summer’s night. Her smile grew ever more compelling with every step forward, for the tears Eard held within could not be contained anymore: “MOM!” Eard yelled from the shortening distance in between. That one tear, the one specific, initial tear, found its own way down his cheek: The indistinguishable tear of a man too happy for words. She knew and was aware of it – every woman is aware of it; every woman recognises it. His mother was no different. She placed a small, gentle hand upon her chest, like touching her heart in love of her returning son, just before she opened her arms to the young man in front. He had grown nearly as tall as she was. “My love; my son. Welcome home!” Her shivering, slightly sobbing cry, whispered to his ear in the warm embrace of safety and comfort. He responded in kind: Though speechless, his unspoken words reached her, touched her; moved her. The door to those blissful memories of hearth beyond comparison weighed heavy on his heart. The rug softly touching his bare feet and the scent of newly picked flowers and freshly baked bread provoked that one last smile before feeling at home – at last.