Saturday, May 10, 2008

Storytelling: Book 2, Chapter 5

Aric waited until night to point us in the right direction. Throughout the day we had talked small scholar talk, but it was minimal at best. Maiden was bored to tears and arranged and rearranged our packs multiple times.

Finally after the sun had completely left the horizon, Aric told us of one of the dead in the ruins of Ost Haer. It was odd because unlike the Free Peoples in the North Downs who just wanted the ghostly men vanquished, Aric felt that indeed this particular shade of man would be helpful. If the shade, Emelin, could give approval to anyone.

It was easy enough to find Emelin. The creature was guarding a burial tomb - probably its own - in one of the last roofed places in Ost Haer. It regarded us warily, but unlike so many of the dead, Emelin did not attack us outright. Instead it gave us the option of either leaving with our lives or fighting a battle it believed we could not win. If we bested his summoned fellows, he would help us.

I had no dread, and knew that my strength would prevail.

The fight was swift. As soon as I accepted, Emelin called his forsaken footsoldiers and then merely watched. Two of the dead, wear Arthedain-like gear if I knew my scholarly arts, came at us at both sides. Maiden and I worked to take down the more fearsome of the guards first, but it vanished into a realm we could not follow when it was severely damaged. It finally came back to meet its death, but only after we had taken care of the other Arthedain shade.

Emelin seemed humbled by our victory. A virtue appeared that Aric had not spoken of, and I was given hope that we had gained another ally in hopes of cleansing this poisoned land.

Emelin told us the story about he and his Arthedain did nothing in a moment of need, and for that the land became poisoned. Now he and his men were cursed by Iarwain Ben-Adar, a name I knew but the man I knew him to be was Tom Bombadil. The curse was strong, and to break it a feat would have to echo throughout Arda. I would help Emelin, if it gave way to purify the land.

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