|I Walked Up a Hill, But Came Down a Mountain
Author: CGKrows PM
In the wake of shadow cast by time, a native people dwelt quietly with the wind. Breeze-folk, they were called by some, their Chieftains gifted with power by Gods for their cleverness. Slaughtered by the millions with the darkness of Mordor, revenge was forever singed in their blood like liquid fire. Then the Ring is found, and a journey of learning begins as friendship rekindles.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Spiritual - Boromir & Aragorn - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,494 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 4 - Published: 02-16-13 - id: 9018644
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Note: Hopefully you read the Prologue prior to this chapter, because it's going to be confusing if you didn't read it. There are many Native and tribal references in this story, so prepare for very primitive settings. The translations and information for my made-up language/race can be found at the end of each chapter! I do not own anything Tolkien, but I own everything native and named Annika. BOLD means "Native Talk" and ITALICS means 'Words/Sentences from the Native Language' or stressed thoughts.
Chapter 1: The Summoning of the Council
There are Seekers that seek those Weaker,
But find out the Sought For are going to be Fought For.
What has this been Naught For?
For the Weak will climb the Hill and stand on a Peak.
No one is told that Time plays rude games with your life.
In reality, it waits like a Purlooke in the thrushes and leaps out to catch you off guard. Or was that what the elders thought be the antics of Fate? I can never be so sure in my answer for this question. None the less, something has taken the role of the unforgiving mistress this day. Already the landscape my people have lived upon for millennia has begun to look dark again. The elders say it's like it had been when the Fire-Eyed One had massacred our tribes, while the younger members of our villages believe their age has gotten to their heads.
Somehow I now recollect those days when I was very young, perhaps only having seen five or six Summers. A hill that we call Turipukew was a playground to my friends and I, being an ongoing adventure to explore the animal burrows or the rocks for life and entertainment.
One day I was coming home from a recent day on the hill, chanting a child's rhyme involving peaks and summits. My mother had heard my happy chatter, smiling at me like a content parent would to their only daughter. 'Tuka, Tuka, Jih en Pondi' was the simple phrase I would repeat, and in my happiness in meeting my mother I danced freely around her tall form whilst the chant. 'Silly Daughter, where have you been today? Your cheer lightens my heart,' she said in our native tongue. 'I explored the Tuka close to the village!' I exclaimed back, a huge smile plastered across my face. Mother tilted her head in slight confusion, answering 'What Mountain? There are only Hills here, precious Daughter.'
Then father emerged, hearing my mother's words. 'A mountain, I hear? Perhaps she refers to Turipukew,' he said, an amused smile on his visage. I nodded rapidly, my head bobbing like a buoy on the water. My father chuckled at me, scooping me up and ruffling my young shortly-cut hair. 'I remember when I was your age, precious Daughter, I too would explore Turipukew and call it a mountain. But it is naught but a hill now. My father before me told me once,' he paused, looking at the distant outline of the mighty hill. 'The hill had once indeed been a mountain, but a hero so strong and brave asked the mountain for help, and it swallowed a demon whole.' I absorbed those words, and best of all the phrase he ended with:
'So, Precious Daughter, when you are in need of answers or help, climb the hill. For there, on the flattened summit, it shall be a mountain once more.'
I now come back to the present, staring from the flattened summit of that said hill, Turipukew. Nestled down below within an uneven encirclement of trees was my village, though the size would have been better compared to a city. But my people were always this way, living within year-round transportable tents and coexisting with nature. Though we are not elves, we are humans that come the closet to them. The tents are fine and tall, crafted from the hides of animals and tanned for protection against the weather. The structure of these simple homes is very basic, just as easily made with a canvas tarp than with leathered hides. Outside of the houses, foods and wares would hang or be stored in water-tight baskets, safe from opposing animals or weather conditions. This was a village, a city of the Mahabë people.
I am Annika.
No longer am I that child of five or six Summers, but what I really am is a female of 433 Summers. Indeed, I am quite old, but among the breeze-folk, I am now a fully-grown Woman. Not only that, but I am a leader. I am Head Chieftain Annika, leader of all tribes and the one gifted with the true grace of Control.
I am Annika. The Gift runs with me.
But even with all this strength and control, I cannot aid the tribes as I should. Darkness is indeed closing in around us, and the chieftains of each of the four tribes stir with foreboding. The words of the elders bewilder them, and their love for their own people draws out great fear. My many years of wanderings before this have shown me what awaits us, and I fear what may soon come will be dark. But we are people of illusion, ones who whisper in the wind to the other Peoples of Middle-Earth and watch like silent phantoms. If he who slaughtered our ancestors comes again, the hatred that runs strong in our blood shall be unleashed like no other.
I am Annika. The Gift runs with me. My blood burns for my people and the wind is our will.
The air moves around me, playing at my stoic form. I realize my thoughts had been spoken to the wind, carried away like a wish upon the flying stars in the darkened sky. Sighing to myself and shaking my head, I break out into rolling strides down that mountain of a hill. It seemed I had not reached hero status, for no answers came to me this morn. The village-city below slowly opened below me, almost welcoming me back with tent-built arms. Brown-eyed young'uns screamed and laughed as they ran about the make-shift homes, chasing after a hunting hound or a tamed Purlooke cub. A few well-behaved girls sat in a row against the support offered by a wooden storage crate, tenderly playing with their husk dolls. Parents watched from the entrances of tents or at their work area, endearing smiles gracing their visages.
How I loved my people, the Mahabë of the Minhiriath. Where ever I go, I always find myself back here beside the Turtle's back. I believe the people of Gondor have a saying, "Home is Where the Heart is," which fits quite well with my feelings for this village-city. If only it could last, lingering on through the more painful times of war and blood-shed that shall occur around it all too soon.
But enough of these negative thoughts! Brooding shall not help with the current way of things, nor will it solve any third world problems that shall occur. Calmly I walked about the tents, receiving honoring nods and grateful curtsies from my fellow Mahabë. Easily I spotted the Chieftain's tent, entering through the pulled-back flaps of the encampment. Sitting at a finely carved table of dark wood was the Chieftain of the Mahabë, Chief Túrrok.
Now, you must be quite confused by the truth of there being two Chieftains in one city. You see, I am leader of the Breeze-folk as a whole, similar to a King of a land. Then for each individual tribe, there is an allotted leader of them, like a Steward for each group. So, for the Kutabasi they have a Chief, Pleitan have a Chief, Huodya have a Chief, and the Mahabë have Chief Túrrok. I am just here to keep peace among the tribes and Peoples of the Middle-Land.
So forward I walk to Túrrok's desk, politely pausing and waiting for him to look up from his reed record tablets. Paper is a rare luxury for us, and it is used sparingly. After a few moments, the man looks up, his weather worn visage smiling up at me in a companionable way. He gets up from his chair, walking around the table and hugging me in a very mannish way. I pat his back, chuckling at my dear friend and childhood comrade. He pulls away, a grin now spread across his face.
"It has been awhile since you've come to visit me, Annika." spoke Túrrok in Westron. It was a habit for us to talk in Westron, for we had done it ever since we were children. I smiled back at him, eyes full of laughter.
"My friend, it has only been two days! You tease me now even after I outrank you in position." The man just grinned back, though his willful eyes were filled with an air of seriousness. My visage hardened. Something has happened.
"What is it, Túrrok? I know that look in your eyes, something has happened whilst I was gone."
His brow furrowed in worry, and his smile vanished. "Patrols have sent us word that a Phelas from Rivendell has come to bring us news. From the tone of the message, it is not good."
"So it is beginning already... The Fire-Eyed One is rising from his ashes." We looked at each other, faces stone in the air of the dark truth. Already my flesh seemed to crawl at the idea of him returning, and the blood in my veins boiled at the idea of combatting his forces.
"How far is the Phelas from the village?" I asked.
"About a ten-minute ride away on horseback."
"Then we must prepare for his arrival." I swiftly turned away, my old friend following close behind.
Immediately we left the tent, our faces images of determination and fury. Our voices rang out in commanding tones, men and warriors gathering at our will. The home-women quickly bustled about with their husbands and friends, aiding in packing and other duties. The once peaceful city so easily fell into hurried preparation. I ordered messengers to send off warnings to the other Chieftains of this discovery, then just as swiftly I rallied my most trusted soldiers to ride. As soon as the messenger comes, we'd be ready to disembark. It has begun; the Great War that the Elders spoke of shall soon rage again. And this time, we'll be ready.
Not long after the city of the Mahabë was set into bustling motion, the Phelas and two of the border guards rode into our encampment. It was one of the sons of Elrond, much to my surprise. But which one? Lord Elrond had twins for sons, which meant they looked exactly the same. The only way to tell the difference between them was what they wore. Yet there was only one here today. Dear...
The Phelas' horse stood before me, its brilliant white coat almost shining in the crisp sunlight. The agile figure leapt to the dust-covered ground, walking in my direction to stop before me.
"Hail, Head Chieftain Annika! It has been too long since we have seen each other. My brother Elrohir sends his regards, for he was previously engaged."
I smiled widely. As a sign of honorable greeting amongst my people, I raised my hand with palm facing outward and clenched it into a fist, then slowly drawing it to my chest where my lay. This signified to whoever I was greeting that they had a place in the hearts of all, and he was someone I knew I could trust. Elladan (who was the other twin not mentioned) grinned back, repeating the gesture I had taught him a great many years ago.
Then our smiles fell, taking an air of urgency. "My father Lord Elrond of Rivendell sent me to tell you less than cheerful news. I fear that he who massacred your ancestors has begun awakening. His Ring has come into our possession, and we call you to answer an invitation to a Council. Any race that stays free from the darkness of the East must attend to determine the fate of the object at hand."
My eyes widened at his tidings, finding no words I could use to describe what I thought in my native tongue. The Ring. The One Ring. The Ring of Power. My people had referred to it as the Wreath of Blackened Gold, or the Eastern Wreath. To think such a cursed trinket, possessed by the Fethan of the Fire-Eyed One, would fall into the hands of the opposing side. I had thought the wreath had been hidden from the world, safeguarded by a twisted creature that one could only look at in pity. A very dangerous creature indeed!
But I knew as well as any Chieftain that now was indeed the time. The day when the Breeze-folk emerge from their city-village havens and join the battle for survival. Only this time, the rage of our slaughtered ancestors fuel our battle-hungry blood.
I nodded shortly at Elladan, swiveling on my heels and turning to my waiting envoy of soldiers. Túrrok was among them, already dressed in his proper diplomatic garb. Chieftains wore beaded sashes and long tops that fell to their ankles. Those shirts separated at the thighs, allowing movement. Upon his feet were durable moccasins, and upon his head was an Eagle-feather headdress only Chieftains bore. I too wore the same garb, though stylized differently. The crown of my headdress was made of of both eagle and hawk feathers, and the strip of durable cloth that had mounted these fine plumes was attached to a helm carved of thick wood. It was shaped into a head of a great avaint, its eyes seemingly dripping finely woven cords of bright cloth.
Together, Túrrok and I were a great display. Two Chieftains of a strong people, who will after so many years both meet the fellow leaders of the Three Races again. Swiftly I mounted my grand steed, Guvk. Our horses were powerful creatures, beyond any equine found in the Middle Land. They bore resemblance to the wild horses of Rohan, which were renowned for their strength and speed. But our horses were not just strong and fast, they were twice the size of any stately steed that existed. For that reason we are respected by the Rohirric Horse-Lords.
About our traveling company were five or six of our hunting hounds, long and gangly creatures that had thin bodies yet born with deadly jaws and lean muscle. Each of us bore weapon and shield, from long spears dressed with feathers and beads to mighty axes and clubs painted and polished. Each shield was made from pounded Barûth, a metal only we breeze-folk can forge, and painted with inks made with lead. Though we may look like a primitive race, we have an abundance of knowledge and lifetimes to spend creating things to benefit ourselves.
Sitting straight with an air of power, a woman strode up to me and handed me my weapons. My shield, like all others, was rounded like a circle, yet larger and much heavier. I slipped it upon my back, and then grasped my spear. The head was the size of my foot, sharp and broad with a pair of tooth-like prongs emerging from the metal like fangs of a viper. I raised it in signal, bellowing:
"To Rivendell, where fates shall be decided and battles shall be determined! Ride my brothers and sisters, ride to prove we walk these lands as equals once again!"
Guttoral cries and howls rent the air, women and men waving hands and shaking their weapons with pride and fervor. I was right afterall. My people would once again emerge and join the Races once again. No longer lesser shadows of legends and stories told by the fireside. We were equals of all beings, equal in all but Control. The Control of the elements and the lands we cared for so dearly.
I kicked Guvk into a vicious gallop, my warriors quickly following true. The hunting hounds barked and howled as they too ran. They followed the horses, scampering about the stanpeding hooves with tongues flying from their canine maws. Elladan rode behind our group, his pale-coated horse not capable of the speeds our equines were able to reach. Between the paces of our mounts and the lengthy twisted roads we were following, it would take us merely days before we reached Rivendell.
Then the council and the festivities accompanied with it would insue, leaving us to finally decide the course of action to take with the wretched wreath of the Fire-Eyed One. I faintly wondered who I would recognize at this council. I had met many in my years of wandering, from simple villagers to Kings and Steward-Sons. Not to mention the occasional Lord or Lady.
I would find out soon enough, but before that, Túrrok and I had a long ride ahead of us...
Translations and Definitions:
Purlooke [Purr-LOOk] = A wild feline, famed for being the size of a Lion yet have fur patterns similar to a Lynx. Its build and physical capability is equal to that of a Puma.
Turipukew [TUR-ee-PUK-oo] = Means "Turtle's Back." From a great distance it look like a turtle's shell rising from a large pool of trees, some calling it a miniature mountain. In reality, it is a very tall hill.
"Tuka, Tuka, Jih en Pondi" [TU-ka, TU-ka, JI en PON-dI] = "Summit, Summit, high and Proud."
Túrrok [TUR-roke] = Loosely translated, it means "Hardened Rock." The '-rok' in Chief's name is pronounced similarly to 'Coke' just with an 'R' in front.
Mahabë [MA-hah-BEH] = For those who neglected to look back on the introductory Prologue, the Mahabë are the strongest of the "Breeze-Folk" tribes and the ones with the biggest population. They live in Minhiriath and Enedwaith on the Map of Middle-Earth, which are undefined areas of the West. A book says that both Minhiriath and Enedwaith are extremely dense forests that the Rangers of the North and West often walk, though mainly for the sport and the relatively safe path to either Rohan, Rivendell, or Gondor. The land is cut by the River Greyflood, which the tall hill Turipukew is not too far from. Only a select few Rangers and Elves know of their hidden existence, which is to be expected, since their land is open travel-land for Rangers and Elves float by on their way to Valinor.
Annika = Means "Divine One" or "God."
Phelas [pronounced like 'Fellas'] = A male Elf; A female elf is Phelaith [pronounced like 'Elleth', except the 'El-' is replaced with 'Fell-' and '-leth' is replaced with '-laith'] or Phelai.
Fethan [Fae-than] = Means literally "Spirit" or "Soul" depending on the context.
Chieftain Clothing = I would advise those who want a better idea of what clothes they wore by looking at Sioux Native American (Indian) garb, or Native garb of the Great Plains Indians.
Guvk [GU-voo-K] = "Black Flight," referring to a black feathered bird or raptor with great agility.
Barûth [bar-OO-th] = a metal that neither the Dwarves, Elves, or Men posessed. The three races had copper, bronze, iron, steel, and mithril, but nothing yet like Barûth. The metal is what we would consider Titanium, which is an alloy/compound made from a combination of what I think is Iron and Steel. (Not too good with the periodic table, so forgive me for errors)