With grace the sun shone again from the east, and the new day began.
Opened to the wind, the valley enjoyed its privilege to welcome the cold waves of air, which spread across the greenish land. The night, already felt weaker, so the shadows that were lurking in the dale quickly vanished up in the surrounding hills, and the valley again, proudly welcomed the light. And the sun, mighty up behind the clouds, which conquered the pride of the valley, surely shaped its brightness in a magical, powerful way. The gleaming fingers of the morning light slowly began to touch every hidden spot across the realm, as the sun itself wished to wake the voices in the valley. And Lo! Its wish was granted, and the first fair sounds of the living, clearly echoed inside the vale, creating the joyful sight, even more beautiful to behold.
While prepared their men for the hunting days in the north, the morning song of the maidens began to spread across the village. Slight sorrow was in the melodies they sang, and slowly it seemed, their words proclaimed the new, simple dawn.
Whilst their melody rang, and the morning aroused, the lads and men who were chosen, started to gather in the centre of the village, beside the big hut. Near that cottage, the village well was dug, and right behind it, peered the spot where the road shed across, connecting the village. The hunters who were gathered there welcomed each other politely, and made their last preparations for the camping in the hills. In their arms, the hunters held packs made of animal skins, and on their backs they worn long, finely made bows. They also worn quivers made of leather, which were filled with finely made arrows of different length, also tended for different use.
Hunters voices were merry, and their faces were glowing in the anticipation of the upcoming adventure. There they stood fully armed and clothed in Grey cloaks while waited the last blessing of their chieftain; wise leader who sometimes used to come along, and hunt beside his men. It was also known that the chieftain enjoyed to explore the woods, but lately had to remain in the village to mind some matters of his own.
While he waited and talked, some of the hunters turned their faces to the east, where in the distance, behind the silver stream, they could hear the first strokes of Medwar's hammer. They all knew and agreed in the matter that Medwar was the most mysterious blacksmith that ever lived among them. His hut and the smithy were the last house in the Eastern Side of the village, and this smith was seldom seen to babble around with the villagers. He appeared among others, only pushed by urgent matters, such was the village council, and rarely used to leave his anvil. His neighbours were used to the sounds of his hammer, and didn't really mind it, because all needed the tools made by his skilful hands. However, the secrets of forging, Medwar held jealously close to his heart, for they were sacrament in his family customs. And it was believed that the sacred lore of forging, passed ahead only to the heirs of his house; just as he learned these ancient crafts from his father Restellin (known also, as the Silvertooth).
When we already mentioned the huts in the village, it would be good to say that they were similar in their looks. From northern to the southern end, the huts all looked almost the same, and there were without fences around, in exception of "the Adun-Hall", where the four sages dwelt. Maybe, villagers homes were made simple because the needs of these men were just the same as their hearts; friendly, humble and lightened. Living for many years among the hidden hills and without threat of war, the settlers never had urge of building stone palisades or fences. They were little in number and were very connected to the bare land, which managed to offer them shelter, and whats more important: The valley had provided quiet life, for all who there dwelt.
Maybe even, these people manage to achieve what many before failed to reach, and found their chief value in the coexistence with the holy nature. Their history also taught them well, not to seek bliss in meretricious piles of gold, and never to welcome treacherous illusions, which they already knew: would only cover their eyes with darkness.
Getting a closer look at these people, would surprise any outlander, for their race was fair and their faces neat. Sturdy and with dark hair, along with their grey eyes, these men reminded of a long lost and ancient folk.
Nevertheless, not all of them were just hunters, but few folk who were of weaker build and with quiet hearts, chose to become farmers, or worked in their arable fields. It was also known that little of these settlers were going out to the open world, because to explore the lands around the hills, was strictly forbidden in the village law. Only the named traders, old and experienced men, travelled abroad, but again only in the time of greater need. Of other things they did, there was some mining in the south, where they searched for iron needed to make weapons and new, handy tools; and the expeditions that went there, only two times in every year, were chosen and advised, directly by Medwar - the Smith.
It wouldn't be fair if we would not mention that the village maidens, also contributed for the good of the people in their own way, which was suitable for their soft hands. Their task was to collect fruits and vegetables; for the valley was reach in fertile enough for both animals and the people. Shortly said, these settlers had everything they needed inside their wild land, and it seemed they enjoyed a happy life.
Moreover, it was known that these agile folk, did not linger in the valley from the beginning of time, for they truly belonged elsewhere; in the remote, forgotten land by the Western Sea..
The Settlers learnt from their stories and ancient scrolls about their heritage, and their fair land where they once have dwelt. Their oldest and wise men talked about the elder days beside the fire, burning with clever words the hearts of men who listened with wonder.
Talking about legends and stories, was one of the most joyful things this people were doing, after they had finished their serious work. Villagers knew to sit by the chimney in some of the houses, and relished the stories they loved for hours; often smoking pipes to completely mark the enjoyment.
Sometimes however, stories about brave heroes and their deeds, were not good for some youngsters, because it is remembered about few, whom escaped the village at night and never returned in their homes. That is why, the law of these men became very tight in some manners, like exploring the lands without permission.
In its bases, their law was simple, and its hand was the chieftain of the village who passed ahead the bidding of the "Council of four thoughts". That order was made of four mostly old and wise men that abandoned their common lives, and decided to focus their wisdom for the good of the other men in the village. However, in peaceful times only the Chieftain, who then presented his visions and suggestions before the council, knew their judgement and their conclusions.
At this time, the mighty chieftain was Aravis, who ruled the people with honour and by his wits. By his voice he was mostly known, because whenever he talked with importance, even the most wild-hearted people, listened with great respect; and never, up to this time, someone broke the rule that came through his lips.
Aside his duty, Aravis was a great lover and protector of all kinds of animals, to whom he devoted his spear time. The beasts always gathered around him to pay respect, as they felt he was the true master of the valley. That is why some called him "the Great Eagle" and wherever he went the Grey wolf, named Broll, followed.
In front of the great hut, the talking and laughter finished when Aravis opened the heavy oak-made door. While hiding the eyes from the morning sun with his left hand, he stepped before the doorway, and at once absorbed the attention of his men. One forelock of his grey hair, covered one side of his rough - skinned face, until he glanced with patience over the group of hunters. Broll came out following his master, and all the young hunters started to pet the great wolf, because he was the most loving creature of all in the valley.
Patiently, the wolf circled around the boys, and it was obvious that he especially adored the younger hunters. He carefully wrestled on the grass beside the road, with everyone who wanted to taste a little of his mighty strength. Broll stopped playing with the lads when Aravis called for him. In a moment, he went by his master side, and sat beside his leg.
All the faces of the mustered men turned to their chieftain when he suddenly spoke with a clear voice:
"May the sun bless your hunting today my friends, and may your journey be light under your feet." He stopped as it was proper, so all the men cheered loud, and with wholeheartedly agreement.
"But before you go, I will need to talk to your group leaders." He spoke and lowered his brows, like he was trying to look sharper in the distance.
"Exarkun, Wasach and Hyldain, please enter the hut.. We must speak." said the chieftain, and at once, these three men threw back their cloaks while quickly followed into the simple Hut. After the door was shut behind them, silence came among the hunters while they waited.
"Why is this counselling?" Asked one of the younger men with innocent look on his round, well-fed face. "It's just a simple hunting in the northern hills, isn't it?" he added.
"I hope Aravis is giving direct orders that you should be left deeper in the woods. Than, you will not ask any more questions." Someone answered from the crowd and everybody laughed aloud, but Lothedan said more seriously trying to outcry the laughter:
"I'm just impatient to go my friends; this is my first time." Everybody nodded, and nearest hunters to Lothedan, still chuckling, taped his shoulder.
Using the situation, he again found a question while pointed to the north: "Is there... Up in the hills, ermm... Dangerous?"
"Well my young friend.. It's surely more dangerous than to gather cherries with the ladies," answered Krey smiling at the young hunter, and after he glanced at Lothedan, as father who wants to encourage his son's heart, he said: "I'm sure your father taught you well how to use your bow, and your little sword Lothedan.. But do not be nervous, because the time will come when you will walk the woods with closed eyes, and you shall not be afraid of anything." Krey smiled again to comfort Lothedan who although was mail clad, for some reason, did not reminded of a hunter at all.
Lothedan looked towards the grey hills again, and took a deep breath while he tried to come up with all advises and useful things said by his father.
He checked his gear again and tightened the belt under the cloak of green-grey fabric, which all hunters worn to walk unnoticed in the forest.
"I hope it will be interesting, and the time spent shall be worth it." Lothedan said to himself, and gave a quick eye through the folk, trying to find some of the youngsters who would keep him company.
There were Blofin, Kadan and Kastir, the youngest of the hunters and nearest to his age of eighteen, so he walked to join them.
"Eh finally, here is Lothedanthe brave!" said Kastir and all laughed, but there was no bad intention in their merriment, and Lothedan smiled happily along with his friends.
"So, we are all here men; the bows of the silver company." smiled Kadan and gripped his bow with his left hand; as he wanted to show, that he was ready to hunt.
"We are here yes, but also there is one deserter here! Dear friends, sadly among us is one, who doesn't want to leave the village! And its not Lothedan, not him." said Kastir, and tried to look serious. But, the other lads chuckled, and looked at Blofin with smile on their faces. He stayed grim and his grey eyes gleamed, while he lifted his fists in front of his friends.
Then he said loud and clear: "There will be trouble, if you all again tease me about Melena; I mean it this time! She's just a childhood friend of mine, and there is only one reason for what she visits my house. Her mother Old lady Dellinas, just loves to chat with my mom, and I cant prevent it."
"Alright, alright Sir! " said laughing Kastir, and they all, in the same time bowed low before Blofin, who finally could not restrain himself and laughed too. The boys continued to jester, and to talk with Great Spirit about many things said to them, as advises from the older hunters. Than they tried to overarch one another, while they discussed about their arrows, and which feathers were of better make. That lasted to the moment, when Lothedan and the brothers Kadan and Kastir, suddenly changed the expressions on their faces. Kadan coughed intentionally, and Blofin was surprised of the sudden silence, which caught his friends. Lothedan blinked as a sign to Blofin who became grim, and confusedly bit his lips.
However, a gentle, hand-touch on his shoulder discovered the reason for what, his friends have suspended their conversation. He could see the teasing look in their eyes, as he turned around to face up Melena, who came in brief visit; probably, to catch them before they all sat forth. He held his breath while their eyes met, yet confused but pleasantly looking at her small gentle face, and once more discovering her glowing beauty. Blofin felt the glance from her dark eyes, moving across his face, and was unable to do a thing. Blofin only idled, although he wanted to say over hundreds of calm poetic words, which would keep her there forever.
She quickly curtseyed, while she held her shimmering garment with unusual grace, and smiled politely at the other lads.
"I came to say: hunt well, brave tracker; and to give you this flower; please do keep it with thee, until the day ends." she said softly, and gently lowered the head, while her silky and healthy hair magically charmed the young hunter. Suddenly, in that unforgettable second his mind was filled with hundreds of images, for whom he than thought, will forever float in his mind.
He heard his friends chuckling, when his dream vanished and he finally gathered breath to say: "Thank you Melena, I shall keep it as best I can."
Melena nodded with ease but Kastir suddenly asked her peeping from behind and making serious face: "Can he eat it if he becomes hungry m'lady?"
Blofin gave a secret elbow hit as revenge to Kastir, but Melena just smiled, waved and left north, walking the road soon disappearing somewhere among the crowded centre of the village. Blofin of course, gazed still at the place where she stood second ago, while his friends chuckled loud, and teased him to the bone. Nevertheless, he didn't mind them .. At least not for this moment that brought new carvings in his heart.. Deep runes, coloured in bright red..
The Horn of the Summoner blew in the village loud and proud stopping the Hunters in the midst of their activities. Aravis followed by Exarkun, Wasach and Hyldain left the hut once more and stood in front of the people to announce his advises and orders. Really mighty he appeared, especially in the eyes of the young hunters such were Blofin, Kastir, Kadan and Lothedan, who recorded every move that Aravis had made. Big as a giant was this man, wearing his heavy animal hide and above his head, the hilt of a great two-handed sword could be seen. Chieftains appearance could not be easily forgotten as his long, little curled grey hair, perfectly fitted his strong edged face. His piercing grey eyes, under his sour brows made him remind of a savage barbarian who could easily leap and cut the largest beast to pieces. But his voice was another case and although strong and yet clear was a glad sound to hear for all ears of men who knew what respect meant.
"Greetings friends and hunters. My speech will be brief and soon you will be on your way to the hills. Use your bows best you can, because the winter will soon come, and we will need a great amounts of food. When the autumn ends, the hunting will be our only way to put our hunger aside. What is important to say, in these three days, which you will all spend in the woods, you will not go too deep in them; although many of you know the forest as your own pocket, I shall not be careless. Some animals, which are my friends, are disturbed from something that is not natural to these lands, and till we find out what that is, you will all stay together and you will not go many a far.
That would be it... Exarkun, Wasach and Hyldain will inform you more on this while you are travelling," Aravis said and he immediately left up the road probably to consult the Village council in some matters. The three Lads who were chosen as a Master Hunters did not idle but walked towards the men to divide them in-groups.
"So much of the silver company The leaders will divide us," Lothedan said quietly and gave a sad look to his friends. Blofin sighed and put his arms in front; as he wanted to show he lacked power to change the hunting plans and orders.
After few moments, Lothedan heard the strict voice of Exarkun saying: "Lothedan group here at once! Come!"
He sighed, blew a forelock of his little overgrown hair out of his face, and said: "Coming Sir!"
After that, Lothedan with quick pace joined his future group, which gathered on the eastern side of the Chieftains hut. The other youngsters were put in the companies too, although they loved to travel together.
Kadan and Kastir, as twin-brothers, found a place in Hyldains Company and Blofin went along with Wasach. The leaders checked the gear of their lads and soon all was set for a long march.
The horn blew once more but now with longer, sharper sound and the companies started to move first little to the west so they could exit the village and to take north through the green plains with tall grass.
Three companies with 10 men each started the twenty-five miles march across the valley lightened with the rays of the bright sun, and cloaked with the tall lawn. The Hunters moved quickly and quietly across the land, so if a common observer were near them gazing at the plains, would not notice a thing, but the slight touch of the wind on his face. They were visible only to the senses of the beasts that knew these lands and could recognise the scent of the cloak-hooded, travelling men.
Blofin under the pleasant touch of the light cloaks cape, turned his gaze behind to the vanishing settlement and the nature around him put a whisper in his soul: Melena... He sighed while touching the flower in his pocket and then he focused his attention on the quiet advice and stories that Wasach whispered while they were travelling. It is good to say that he was glad to be part of this company, because he liked this merry yet valiant man.
Wasach was a man in the zenith of his youth, and with pleasant aura because he chuckled all the time while he was talking, no matter the conversation was about something serious or not. Great wisdom was engraved in his spirit along his hunting years and his words were well worth heard everywhere among other men.
It will not be a surprise if Aravis some day pronounce Wasach as his successor in the seat of the great chieftain, Blofin thought. However, he was nearly sure that Wasachs ambitions were not so madly high now to darken his heart. Another interesting note that divided Wasach from the other men was that he loved his long black, bushy beard, as he was some giant dwarf. There was a story that when he was younger and with shorter beard off course, some of his friends did try to shave him off with a sharp knife, only for a joke, but soon abandoned that idea because he ran home and came back battle-crying with his younger brother Radaster. Wearing chain-mail armours, helmets and great Double-edged swords were ready to slice everyone who wanted to play games with Wasachs beard. The slaughter was saved by Derest, the father of one of the lads who insulted Wasach. He apologised and invited Wasach and Radaster into his house, to ease the quarrel with a barrel of good wine. Since then, no one even mentions the beard of this valiant man. Yet, many jokes and other stories are connected to that part of Wasachs face, but sadly, they will not be mentioned or discovered in this story.
The smell of the high green grass filled the air and the blue clear sky opened its face towards them while they were walking deeper to the north. Some small group of clouds high above managed to take a form of three mysterious horses. Is seemed like there were galloping towards the glowing sun and all gazed at this sight with awe and wonder.
Gripping the belt with the right hand, Blofin took a deep breath and looked towards north where the hills started to grow bigger and dreadful, painting their sights with its grey-green landscape.
Hunting and adventure, at last, the young man thought to himself and his heart started to beat faster. He smiled and cheered inside himself that finally he will officially become a hunter Someone worth being respected Over thousand times he repeated in his thoughts and imagined the moments of him shooting the bow.
Silent breath the sound knock Calculating the speed of the wind Concentration and finally the flight of the arrow towards the prey. He felt a sudden ease, being so far away from the peaceful huts and the slight smell of leather his father used to make different raiments.
At last, he walked to meet the spot where his restless heart belonged. At last, he was free At least, that was what he thought at that moment.
Being a child of a cloth-makers family, Blofin never had a chance to learn from his father about the secrets of hunting and arms. Poor old Neil (Blofins father), did not even loved stories about battles, so he secretly had to search for teachers and mentors among the other men of the village. His father hopelessly tried to direct him in the family crafts, but never succeeded to temper the fire that was burning in his Sons heart. Some years before in the deep hours of the night, he often heard his fathers voice whispering while in dreams:
He will never be like me, he will never Never continue
He was a little sad from it, because he loved Neil dearly, but openly rejected to become what his father wanted. His mother, Lady Setha was, as every Mom, on her sons side and persuaded old Neil to let the boy choose his path in life. Soon he became nearly a young man and this strange thing happened to him indeed.
One very misty night when he was tired from training with the lads, he headed for his house, but suddenly a strong voice called him. He turned back and hardly seeing in the dark, he recognised Aravis standing beside Lothedans small house and it looked as he was holding something in his hands.
"Come Blofin, son of a Cloth-maker," he said while smiling, but yet important. "I have a little present for you Something that you will need in the times to come"
He walked as in dream towards the chieftain and when stopped Aravis put a long, strong made bow and a fine quiver in his young hands. After the Chieftain laid his big hand on the boys shoulder he said peacefully, "May this bow and your arrows shoot even the stars from the sky with yer guidance, because even the blind can see that your hands are not made to handle the tools from your fathers shop. Your sharp eyes and your quick legs will bring your people much good in the future; and I saw you training hard". Then Aravis whistled sharply for Broll, smiled once more to Blofin and left down the road to rest in his hut. Blofin gasped with astonishment and stood there like a stone for a long time.
He smiled in the name of the memories and noticed that they had started to climb slowly and that the land started to transform first into bushes, than into oak and tall birch trees. The sounds of the nature changed and became more quiet and queer. Colour of the landscape changed too, from green to grey, as they were climbing and walking deeper into the forest.
On some trees, there could be seen strange carved signs but unknown only to the outlanders, because Exarkun, Wasach and Hyldain knew them well. They were the letters of the hunters who carved the signs to guide the next companies, to mark specific places in the forest and sometimes to warn others as well.
Finally, the companies stopped and after they counted the members, the leaders went little away to settle the matters of the hunting tactics and to decide which area they will cover. Blofin used the break to walk near his friends and to check their impressions so far.
Lothedan was nearest and he found him wiping the sweat from his forehead. Soon Kadan, Kastir joined, and they laughed at Lothedan who was never fond of long walks.
"This Exarkun lad, squeezed every drop of energy from us with his pace," said quietly Lothedan still very red in his face. "Does anyone have some water please, Ive forgotten to put some in my pack" he added quickly and blushed.
"You forgot to take water? Are you without a mind Lothedan? We are in the wilderness, not in a visit to the village well." said Kastir with slight anger in his tone, while he was getting the big flask out of his pack. Than he handed the canteen to Lothedan who drunk some of it and smiled happily as the colour on his face returned to normal white tone.
"Can I keep the canteen Kastir?" asked Lothedan while closing the container. Immediately Kastir let out an angry sneer that sounded like hissing of a serpent, in answer to his request.
All laughed at that and Lothedan returned the flask to Kastir saying: "Just joking lad, just joking, Its yours be content and leave your friend to die from thirst."
Kastir grinned evilly and his dark eyes shined as he wanted to say something in defence, but the voices of their leaders summoned them back into their groups. They all quickly returned to their places except Lothedan who really had problems to tight his belt properly and muttered words unheard before, only to himself.
"Lothedan, must you always be the last in everything? If you continue like this, I will let Radaster tie you up and carry you on his back if needed" -cried Exarkun full with discontent.
"Im trying my best Sir!" cried Lothedan very confused and running to group with his lads, tried not to look at Radaster -the giant-brother of Wasach, who could easy carry him, like a little piece of meat around the forest. When he finally stood in line, Lothedan sighed with a relief, but soon discovered that Exarkun regrouped them intentionally. Suddenly the giant stood right beside him smiling with his big teeth and shaping him with his grey-dark, crystal clear and deep eyes. The boy smiled back innocently as he was promising that he will be good from now on and be more focused on the tasks. With secret, thief-like eye he glanced at the piece of the big rough rope that hung over Radasters hips and wave of unpleasant feeling crossed all over his body.
"Dont be afraid young hunter, we will make a great Gath-Selem pair," Radaster said with his deep, tunnelled voice and the nearest from the company quietly giggled while Lothedan felt a "gentle stroke" of the giants fist in his back. Gath-Selem, wonderful, Lothedan thought with grief and he suddenly got an enormous wish not to be there in the forest, but in his cottage under his soft, woollen blanket
A Gath-Selem was, or were so-called prey-finisher hunters who always took the last stroke on the shot animal. As the wounded stone bear in example, pierced with many arrows would start to run away from its hunters, the Gath-Selem were the men who hunted it by foot until it was finally dead. They were not armed with bows, but with large and massive razor sharpened weapons that could easily cut the wounded beast and deliver them deathblow with strength and precision. Gath-Selem also worn special made chain mails and roughly forged helmets to protect them in the close combat situation.
And believe, Radaster was a great Gath-Selem and although above seven feet tall, was able to run fast and fierce hunting any prey that could be found in the hills. Lothedan learned from rumours among the hunters that when Radaster was only a seven-year-old lad, ran accidentally in the forest alone and was not seen for nearly four months. His father and his brother Wasach searched for him day and night, north and south, but their search was fruitless and without hope. Lady Bel died when she brought Radaster into the world so she did not live to join this tragedy. Radaster came back all by himself and the merriment along with wonder was great beyond believe.
He returned unharmed and in full health, but since than the boy changed and never used to talk much. It seems that the wilderness forever captured his spirit. From the few things that he openly said about his disappearance, one was that a pleasant, old man found him weeping in the forest and helped him survive. No one of course, believed his misty story and this accident was soon forgotten.
Kadan and Kastir looked to the left and quietly chuckled at the doom that overcome their quiet friend. Looking into Lothedan s confused round face Kadan whispered to his brother "I wonder who will be the pray today, Lothedan or some bigger rabbit?" They both smiled again and waved with their hands towards Lothedan to distract him some more. Clad in the same grey cloaks, leather vests and looking almost the same in their young faces with sharp lines, the brothers were dificult to be distinguished. They both had the same restless dark eyes and were not lads who will sit quiet for a long time. The brothers were so seldom apart, that one of their cousins once said: They even share the same dreams at night. The matter maybe was not so strange, because everyone could felt the invisible bond that floated between Kastir and Kadan.
Yet, opposite to their appearance, the lads were not so much alike inside. Kadan in example, was a little more stern and more careless to the degree of walking on the borders edge which marked the proper behaviour. At the other side Kastir was merciful and thought twice before he ought to do some action. But as brothers, both of them lived in some special union where their spirits acted as one, so their bad habbits and their weekneses were reduced. They were proud to be sons of the old and maybe the most respected, but retired hunter Darel.
A long time ago their father tragically lost his left hand during the battle with a huge wild cat in the forest. When he returned to the village to be healed and to be bandaged,he looked into his son`s eyes while he was taken to the local healer Deveroth, barely staying conscious and biting his lips in agony. Although blinded with pain, he has never forgotten the fair moment that helped him overcome the great loss. At that time Kadan and Kastir were almost 2 years old and didnt understand what a great tragedy had happened. Nevertheless their father decided never to abandon them in the future and he himself became a healer and learned the herb lore when he recovered.
"The tragedy really changed his heart and appeased his spirit," someone would know to say after the sorrowful accident happened.
"The hawk may lose his wing but even on the ground he will attack the snakes, if it can," some other men would add.
Darel, fortunately or not, never returned to hunting but also never forbade his sons to become what they wanted to be.
Kadan, Kastir and their friend Blofin learnt much from this fearless true Dunedain ,whose patience was astonishing when the youngsters were arround. He tought and spoke with great charm, so the boys simply adored this man,spending without remorse many hours in Darels hut. He was also, the first who tought them how to hold the bow properly and how to swing the swords with elegance, and yet deadly. He trained them to Mastery the Arms, but also prepared them to be real men which walk with pride.
In one small back yard of that wooden house, so far, far to the eastern untouched plains; in those green forgoten lands, living their simple lives, this young men were aboout to became men. It was more than obvious that they advanced more than well, and Darel was glad in heart.
Always cloaked like ancient shadow and smoking his pipe, he often knew to tell stories about the west.Stories about their real homes and tales about Knights that once, long time ago, existed and defeated a great evil. The lads gasped with wonder, caught in a spell-bond from the sounds of the stories. They listened and learned about who they were.Darel once even whispered the prophecy of the council... But only once and never again Here is what they heard :
"Forests are your table,and the grass is thy bed, but remember Dunedan, fair Dunedan They will never touch your soul as thy home shall." Then he sang quietly but again with some ancient pride joined by sorrow, glowing from his deep voice:
To the southwest,to the sea,
by the castle, tall and strong,
your hearts and pride should be.
To the open silver bay,
to the beckon of the west,
walk swifter, and let yer spirit rest.
Darel also told them that this words were said by the heirs of men who first brought them in this greenish realm. He said that their ancestors fled away from their fair homes into this far, far wilderness that slowly became their second land. And only the oldest and the wisest knew the true reason for what they left their fair dwellings, long ago in the days slightly forgotten.
All the knowledge the boys had about this matter was very, very miniature. However, they had been wery persisting and manage to learn this :
In their far land by the sea, a great shadow and misery appeared again after they lived in bliss for many years. Few nobble Lords, faithfull to the light, along with their heirs and servants, started a long perilous journey to the north. They departed to seek their allies in a desperate attempts to wake the one who had fallen into hidious dark sleep. But, instead of succour, their emissaries found the same darkness in the hearts of the northern men.
Twisted and spoiled by lust for power.
Judging the dark times that were getting near and their small number, they were forced to hide in the unexplored lands to the east. Then, the Lords of the sea decided to wait till some sign appear, that will reborn even a sparkle of their hope.
Often in the beginning, they sent scouts to bring tidings from the South, but seldom the sent had returned; were they overhelmed?; or became avid traitors of their people, noone was able to tell.
Those that remained, in fear that would be found by their foes, went wandering deeper to the east. The Fair people travelled across the unpleasant barren land, and met many sorrows before they have finely reached the secret cave of Mathedraas. Only one Royal Knight among them knew about this hidden cave, and when the Lords allowed he led the people inside.
The Knight guided through this natural passage under the Great Mountain, and brought them before their future land. It was the time when they all, put their sights on the green valley that spread open in the distance. The noble people walked towards the green plains surrounded with tall hills, and sang in grief for their land by the Sea. Finally, the leaders among them commanded a Halt, and decided to settle in the dale, beside a small natural stream.
The decision had fallen, because the land seemed perfect for people who didn't wish to be found Perfect for the one who will never again be able to wash his grief in the Western Sea.
Noble folk of the Dúnedan race who will never again see the Bay of Belfalas; and shall never again stand beside the symbol of their freedomThe Castle of the Ship and the Silver Swan.
Radaster, Squire of Dol Amroth