The Saga of Ehrolof Ironfist- part 1

The misty haze of the evening was a sharp contrast to the clear night sky and the moon did not shine, giving the heavens to the kindleded stars as they shone above, out of the reach of the flickering flames that rose from the fire which gave light to the men gathered around it sipping mead and ale. Some of the older boys were seated there too, understanding that a story was to be told. The old man, the travelleling wander who was said to be from beyond the misty mountains in his youth, from beyond the southern reaches of Gondor in his prime and beyond the knolage of others in his old age.

These people looked upon him with interest. He was old. Very old, and yet his eyes sparkled, and his very voice laughed, as if he were remembering the tales he was sharing as he had heard them, as he had seen them.

Yet this man with a staff of oak in his strong hands held an air of intrigue, for at his side hung a proud sword, silver mounted at the hilts and the pommel shaped like a horses head. One small boy, tiredly slouching amongst the warriors had been watching the sword all night. The old man had noticed this, and slowly pulled the beautifully crafted weapon out of its scabbard, drawing the suspense of the men as he did so. He held the blade in the flickering firelight, lowering it carefully so that the small boy could see its shimmering wavelike hue.

Even the warriors were impressed. They had not seen a weapon like this, which seemed to be the aim of a lifetimes work, unequelled possiably even to the sword of the King of Rohan.

The old man seemed pleased. He smiled momentarily, returning the sword to its sheaf, gently polishing the hilt as he did so. "It was a gift," he said, "that I gained long ago. Many years have passed now since then, and yet this gift, even as it was gifted unto me in the Golden Hall of Medusald has been ever at my side."

He paused for a moment, giving the suspense a chance to swell before he continued, seeing even the disinterested men peer over as he spoke. He took a sip from his horn, and savoured the scent, the taste of the sweet mead which he drank. He looked up again into the fire, the flames dancing over his face in pagan glee, not caring where the rested, just beeing glad to be.

"When I was a boy of no more than seventeen summers my father died from a plague. My mother had died as I was born, and we lived not in a village, rather a hidden dell in northen Eridor. I took it on myself, having no history, no family and no home to set out and find my place in the world.

"My father lived there only for the sake of my grandfather, who died of the same plague that took my father, for he would not leave that place, being a true decendent of the men of Westerness in their weaker blood, and wished to live the rest of his years in the land that his kin had one protected from the dark shadow that grew prior to the War of the Ring.

"I took my fathers sword, and clothes enough, and food, and I made for the paths crossing the misty mountains. I took clear of the way which is said to lead to the elven houses, for I feared the magic and the power of the place, though it was only a childs fancy that such a folk ever were, and I at last came to Rohan, the land of the horsemen.

"In my dreams I could have never seen a land more regal or more free. Horses like the mystic meras ran the plains and the blue sky embraced the warm sun as the peaks rose atop the land, rising high above the floors of the heavens.

"I continued upon my path, carefree and easy, untill I came to the once beautiful fortress of helms deep. As I gazed at the ruined stoans of that place I could almost hear the victorious cries that had once echoed from behind the deeping wall in its days of glorious triumph. As I stood I felt a strong hand at my shoulder, and a voice spoke 'It is my vision also.'

"I turned, and behind me stood the kindest and fairest looking man that I had ever seen. My heart warmed to him immediatly, and lowered my head in honour, seeing that he was indeed a lord or a prince. 'But war calls,' he said, 'and the wildmen of the east are turned against us once more, and yet who will fight for an already fallen land?'
'I will, my Lord,' I said.

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