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Forums : The Silent Chronicles > From darkness to Darkness
Sauronsbeagle (Member) 2/7/2009 7:41 AM EST : From darkness to Darkness
Posts: 4624

From darkness to Darkness

by Hrethmund


Sauronsbeagle (Member) 2/7/2009 7:42 AM EST : RE: From darkness to Darkness
Posts: 4624

The darkness in the mines of Ered Luin Hrethmund remembered. Dark days hewing coal and base metal ore to help feed a family bereft of father, bereft of wealth. Dark coal laden scars marking his work hardened hands and arms.

Dark memories of a dwarf of but 30 years burdened with supplies following Dain’s forces to the vale and the clash of 5 armies. Dark memories of his father falling in battle there, an orc arrow driving through a rend in his armour.

Dark memories of his young companions rushing in fear and anger to help the warriors and falling among the Dwarves, men and elves.

Dark tales of his father concerning the coming of the dragon and the death of his kin.

The young Hrethmund had no desire to remain with Dain after the battle, the joy of victory was soured by the death of so many.

Hrethmund returned To Erud Luin where his family had fled after the coming of the Dragon, where they had remained when young Hrethmund and his father had traveled to the Iron Mountains hoping to restore their fortunes.

Through the years of struggle Hrethmund pondered the fate that had befallen his family and people and came to curse the Darkness in the East that seemed determined to sweep all free people away. Came to curse the weakness of the armour that let past the arrow.

And since curses alone did little to stop the Darkness, Hrethmund trained all the hours that were free to him, trained in force of arms, trained in the smithing of armour that an arrow would not pass ….

Until a day came, until word came, that the Darkness arisen in the East now drew near.

Then Hrethmund put his darkness behind him and turned to face The Darkness. Swearing never to rest until it was defeated and, remembering the mixed Dwarven, Elvish and Human fallen that day long ago, he swore that no enemy of the Darkness would ever be denied the protection of his shield.

And in The Darkness he now saw there was Light.


Sauronsbeagle (Member) 2/7/2009 7:44 AM EST : RE: From darkness to Darkness
Posts: 4624

Remembrance of Things Past – I

It was strange that the clamour and stunning heat of the forges in Thorin’s Gate was in fact restful.

Today watching the ore heat, crumble and finally reveal beads of white hot metal that he would later work and rework into metal and armour which would match the finest still crafted in these latter days of Middle Earth,  Hrethmund was struck that he and all his companions had passed through a similar process to the ore he now watched.

Idly crushing a recalcitrant knob of ore with a swipe of his pickaxe he recalled his first blow against the evil Skorgrim, but a finger of Angmar, had brought to Ered Luin.

With a group of little known companions, really just fellow travellers, clad in patchwork armor and equipment he had raced through the passes of Rath Teraig seeking to break up the hideous alliance of Dwarves and Goblins.

Like the raw ore they had been a fragile, brittle group, untempered in battle.

And in this fight he had the first dross burnt from the metal of his warrior soul as he learnt the value of preparation and the value of working hand in hand with his companions.

Learnt the hard way as the party had scattered, fought and sometimes been defeated as individuals.

The brilliant light of the flowing metal lit his smile. Things were different now.


Sauronsbeagle (Member) 2/7/2009 7:44 AM EST : RE: From darkness to Darkness
Posts: 4624

The Long and the short of it

When young Hrethmund traveled to the Iron Mountains with his father he had of course passed through The Shire and even briefly stayed in Bree. They had only traveled with other dwarves and very much kept themselves to themselves so, although he had been there, his actual knowledge was very slight.

The hobbits had seemed quaint, humorous even. But men were threatening, loud and towering in his memory.

It was thus with some trepidation that he set out for Bree and the meeting he had been instructed to have with the man Aragorn.

And this trepidation - though he convinced himself that it was foolish to waste the chance to see more of the Shire - no doubt explained his tardiness in passing on to Bree.

The sight of a Dwarf marching the roads of the Shire, shield on back, Axe on shoulder and pack hanging from axe seemed to raise little comment from the Hobbits though he occasionally heard chuckles behind him that he steadfastly ignored.

At first his idea of the Hobbits as nothing more than quaint country folk seemed to be confirmed. They served him handsomely in the village inns, asked him to help with numerous small tasks, many of which seemed to involve food.

And the place seemed to be overrun with chickens that oddly seemed to stop and look at him in an altogether too knowing way. Almost as if they wanted to talk to him!

One hobbit even gave him a feathered hat and told him he could be a Bounder – the Guardians of the Shire it seemed. Surely they could not be so frivolous with their own safety, it must be a joke at his expense though they seemed to take little seriously – except eating.

Gradually he began to realize that this light heartedness masked true fear. Wolves lurked on the outskirts of villages, goblins could be found in the shadowy woods and strange tales could be heard in the quiet of the evening concerning men, evil dark men in the east of the land.

Indeed he found himself marveling that these small, soft seeming hobbits could maintain their outward appearance whilst confronting these fears. Truly there was more to them than met the eye and truly if the fear from the East had invaded even so tranquil a place as this, it must be confronted now before it was too late.

Leaving behind him the pies, ales and quaint good humours of the shire he crossed the Brandywine bridge and took the road for Bree.


Sauronsbeagle (Member) 2/7/2009 7:45 AM EST : RE: From darkness to Darkness
Posts: 4624

Determined, the band of comrades assemble to challenge the evil Angmar perpetrates in the Rift.

A single body of focused purpose each trusting in the skill of the other the Dwarves Grimili and Hrethmund it's armoured point, they press into the twisting tunnels past fearsome drops and onwards ......

Strange sounds, echos, tortured moans and pleas assail their ears. Strange shadows cast by the flickering light of torches held high hint of the twisted forms of Orc and Troll.

A pause, a rush to engage a stumbling Troll and its keeper. Guardians scream challenges confusing, turning Angmars servants exposing them to the fury of the party. Minstrels songs healing wounds, mix with clash of steel, the shouts of the party and the bestial roars of their enemies in a confused cacophony which mirrors the swirling fight. Flashing bolts of magic illuminate the struggle as flickering harsh images of battle frozen for a moment in time.

The keeper falls and a fresh challenge draws the bewildered Troll from the masters of lore, the minstrels and hunters. Draws it into the maelstom of steel where its lumbering twisting and dodging, its thickened befouled skin  aid it not.

Crashing to the ground the vast Troll scatters its tormenters for a last moment before, wiping sweat from brows, black blood from weapons and armor the party pauses, reflecting ......

Leaning on his axe, drained by the fight, Hrethmund surveys the ruin of Angmar's servants. A grim satisfaction his reward.


Sauronsbeagle (Member) 2/7/2009 7:46 AM EST : RE: From darkness to Darkness
Posts: 4624

There is a Palace at the end of the Rift. A bright well lit surprise after the dark twisting tunnels, caverns and shattered ruins.

Far better stonework than you see in these later days – a strange passing thought intruding on Hrethmund’s mind.

And the Lord of that Palace stands before him, bellowing his rage. An ancient power trapped in an ancient palace thrashing his chains as if in accompaniment to the strange dance the Dwarf leads him in.

Hrethmund alone now except for the silent elf who lead them here – his companions distant, fighting the servants of this place – revels in the purpose which holds him to his place. Holding the gaze of his enemy, holding down the red, red fear boiling up in his mind. Alone with the Darkness.

Aware that will alone can meet the darkness and triumph. But what can a single will do against such evil?

Struggle to hold the gaze of his enemy, to keeps its mind, its will from his companions. He knows that fear will overwhelm him, bury him in darkness however hard he struggles, but struggle he must …

Then movement caught at the edge of an eye now almost blinded by red, red fear – the creatures servants triumphant?

No, his companions returning bringing him fresh will, fresh strength to continue. To bring ruin on the evil before him.


Sauronsbeagle (Member) 2/7/2009 7:46 AM EST : RE: From darkness to Darkness
Posts: 4624

The coals settled, a soft sigh, a deepening of the red glow with which they lit the otherwise unlit room.

Hrethmund, restful for once settled back himself warmed in their glow, warmed by the earlier effort in hewing them. There had been so little time of late for such mundane tasks as digging coal.

From the other rooms came half heard conversations, gentle songs. All lighter, happier than those of recent days. And the fresh smells of cooking, new bread and the gentle forest scents of the Fir, Holly and Ivy that the Elf Asmir had earlier sought out and decked the hall with.

This was as things should be, would be.

Smiling at the memory of the trials faced in the year past and of the friends met in the struggle against Angmar, Hrethmund raised his mug in Silent tribute to his Kin.


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