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June 4, 2011

This post is in the character of my warden, Khelernil. It was recently featured on Casual Stroll to Mordor’s Lost Texts

When I first ventured into Forochel, I had only heard stories. My people are the silvan elves of Mirkwood, but during the late Third Age, nomads from the south had come to us with tales of a cold, frigid land with Men there that had an even more frigid demeanor. The Lossoth. They were said to grow horns from their head and have skins like animals. Their language was similar to that of other tribes of men in places like Angmar and Enedwaith, but they seldom spoke Westron to an outsider. And most travelers to them are outsiders.

The land itself was a living, breathing glacial plateau. At times, I would imagine I felt a crack from deep inside the bowels of the earth, and I would see far off in the distance a piece of the landscape just…drop. Straight down into the sea. It was an enchanting place, but if lulled unwary by the view, one might fall into a crack, or not see the great cat lurking about to pounce. There were also the Gauredain, the wolf-men, which would silently approach and savagely attack without warning. Forochel was an ever-moving, ever-changing dôrogûr, “land of Death.”

The Lossoth did not befriend me immediately. The last they remembered of elves were those that had come to Forochel to assist Arvedui in the Third Age, and the rescue ultimately lead to his death when the ship was wrecked upon the shoals and ice floes. The Lossoth are a suspicious people, and earning their respect took weeks of killing their foes and learning their customs. They eventually embraced me as one of their own, and I, them.

They reminded me of my people on the edges of Rhovanion. Mirkwood, Taur-e-Ndaedelos [The Forest of the Great Fear], has been under the protection of my people since the beginning of the Second Age. The forest is alive with orcs, and we fight against the Shadow in Dol Guldur. Here in Forochel, the very land threatens to exterminate the Lossoth. Even the ground may betray them and let them fall to their deaths. The parallels brought us closer, and we treat each other as kindred.

Step. Step. Softly now, just a whisper across the snow. as I inch my way closer to the ice-worm currently unaware of my presence. I am holding my breath, as the ice crystals formed every time I exhale could alert my prey. This worm had been troubling the Lossoth for some time now, killing their herds, torching their dwellings. A warden of Eriador like myself cannot let it continue to destroy the innocent lives of this people. My people.

Step. Pause. A few feet off from the worm, behind a previously concealing wall, stands a tall creature, almost Man and beast simultaneously, one the Lossoth call a piekko. The inconvenient placing of this animal relative to my prey could mean I would be attacked from the rear when I finally ambush the worm. I will have to draw the worm to me…

I firmly grasp my javelin, Ringaril [Ice-Thorn]. This monster will not live long…

As I had anticipated, as soon as Ringaril leaves my fingertips, the piekko turns with the ice-worm, and they both rush towards me, a strange look in the piekko’s eyes. It is a mixture of fear and madness. It is a shame that I will have to kill this creature; it is much more intelligent than the worm, but the savagery will not release its mind until it has killed me and tasted my blood.

My other javelins are swiftly thrown, but there is no stopping the pure brute strength of either creature. The ice-worm reaches me first and crashes like a wave of scales upon my shield, despite the fact that Ringaril is hanging from his flank, slowing his movements. Momentarily, I see why the worm reached me first: the piekko has begun hurling rocks covered in snow in my direction. I begin to weave and dodge, as I slam my shield in the face of the worm, crying out “Elbereth!” as I do. It is like a dance of war, each partner determined to destroy the other.

The worm and the piekko both fling attacks in a fury like the Forochel winds that are starting to rush as well, but my shield mastery makes it very difficult to hurt me. As the worm slowly dies, the piekko renews its attacks against me, and rock finally evades my shield and stuns me. As I lay there, the worm spews fire, but luckily the snow melts and the water extinguishes most of the flames. Still, I am licked with flames and my cloak is scorched, which angers me, as it was a gift from the Lossoth.

I pick myself back up, and evaluate the battle. The worm is weak with wounds, but the piekko is still unharmed by all but one javelin. Though the situation to some would seem dark, to me it was the dark before the dawn. With a burst of resolution, I plunge my spear, Ringereg [Ice-Iron], deep into the worm, and it breathes its last. A moment’s pause brings restoration to my resolve, and I face the piekko with renewed strength.

A friendly Lore-Master in Kauppa-Kohta had given me a gift of blasting powder that he used for his more…theatrical displays. I throw this into the face of the piekko, dazing him just long enough to achieve that critical strike that would turn the battle.

“Nîn ech maeg!” [my spear is sharp]

Looking around, my breath slightly more heavy than when I started, I see my dead prey. I salute their bodies and burn them. The Lossoth are slightly more safe, and my sights are now turned to the war in Mirkwood. Assaults on Dol Guldur are being renewed and couriers request the return of all soldiers to Gathbúrz.

Till next we speak, farad vaer a namárië [Good hunting and farewell]


Language notes: Sindarin Elvish was used in this post, with the brackets containing the translations.

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