“Life is good.” Beoraborn, the last of the shape shifting beornings, thought out loud, basking in the last of the warm sun rays of summer. Fall would soon be upon his tribe and harvest would be good this year. Greenwood was as good as clean from the vile taint of the shadow. All but the old fortress of the necromancer, but that too would come to pass into sunlight. He grabbed a handful of honeyed forest nuts and quaffed them down with a mouthful of cellar cool ale he had traded earlier this summer. This little village had become a sort of trading post in the middle of Greenwood connecting the people of Dale and Laketown with the horse men of Rohan. His was a safe village, and people knew this. A veteran of the war 15 years past as well as all of the adventuring with his friends had made him an expert warrior knowing how to take care of his people. When nostalgia crept upon him, Beoraborn would retire to his little smithy where he would find his adventuring gear, his weapons and his small treasures. By old habit he opened his glass treasure box finding the most valuable item. The gold coin from the horde of the dragon, Scorba, where his old friend, the hobbit Jack Fleetfoot, was still fast asleep where he had sacrificed himself to eternal sleep with the dragon. “How strange” Beoraborn said to himself. “The gold is warm to the touch. As if the coin has been lying in the sun for several hours. This must mean…” He stopped. Turned around and whistled a sharp tone, calling for his animals. “You must find my friends.” He told them. “And hasten before it is all too late!”
Salabon sat behind his oaken desk in the library in Minas Anor.
He had just finished a lecture in the magical healing powers of the herbs of north.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Bree, Anuminas, Minas Brethil, The North” he though as he poured himself some tea sweetened by honey. “I wonder if I’ll ever gaze upon the beauty of these places one again.” His thought were interrupted by a know at the door.
“Who knocketh without? Speak, friend, and enter.” Salabon shouted.
The door opened and a you man clad in travelers clothes of the Horselords.
Hair and beard of the fiery red of Eadyth’s clan and the angled features of a numenorian.
The two men gazed upon each other, sizing each other up and trying to make sense of the existence of the other.
“Fagnið föður! Hér er ég.” The younger man finally spoke in the tongue of the Rohirim.
“Rejoice father! Here I am.”
“This makes sense” Salabon replied remembering the night before the fight with Corlagon. The night with Eadyth talking about how that might be their last light alive, how the fear of dying and the warmth of Beoraborn fortified mead had combined into a lust for life, and some canoodling in the bushes. He smiled. He now had an heir. A bastard heir, but an heir nontheless. Father would hate that. Salabons grin grew even wider.
“I have news of Eadyth, mother.” The young man, Edmund, told him of Eadyth’s wound during the war and her reclining health. “…and she gave me this.” Edmund handed Salabon a golden coin. He knew that coin for it was a coin from the dragon Scorba’s horde. It was warm to the touch, as if had been left by a warm fireplace for some time. “It is time” Edmund said. “The Dragon is awaking.”
Barhador sat by the shore of lake Evendim as the sun set behind the mountains in the west. Lately he had felt as though he was slowly awakening from a dream. That feeling you have just before you open your eyes after a nights rest. But forget about that. The ruins of Annuminas were now safe from the bands of orks that had made the old Numenorian buildings their home these last years. The emissaries, engineers and working men from Gondor had now nothing to fear. The King would soon be able to travel to a rebuild city.
Barhador rose and walked westwards. A thrush had told tales of ork kind and maybe a troll.
There were always work to do.
“My husband will see you know” the queen spoke to them.
Edmund had never seen such beauty as the queen. But then again, he had never seen any elves. Or heard any. The way her words seem to come together as if they were sung. Her demeanor were not that of authority, but of a close friend. Were his true father really friends with King Elessar and Queen Arwen?
The King too greeted them as old friends.
“Salabon! Sit. Speak. I heard you come bearing news?”
“Yes. Grave words I am afraid.” Salabon handed the King the warm piece of gold coin.
“The dragon awakes, so I am afraid I must away at great haste.”
“Go! Hurry! You have my blessing and my horses. I will personally see to it that your responsibilities are taken care of. Away at once and god speed.” The king hurried them along for he had been told the tale of Corlagon, Scorba and the sleeping halfling.
Below her the white city seemed much like a beehive, but smelled worse. How the humans could live like this were beyond her reason, but the bear-man had told her to fly here, fast, to find the man-who-smelled-of-dried-flowers and tell him of dragon.
She knew where to find him, for she had delivered messages before.
She landed in the window to the forrest-room and waited for he man.
And not long after he came.
“Dragon” she cawed.
“I know” the man replied.
“Tell bear.man to meet us at horse-home.”
“Food! Silver!” she cawed.
Flower-man gave her some dried fruit av a piece of glittering silver and she took of. Happy to return home to the green forrest
Beoraborn packed his bear sack, filling it with honey cakes, newly sharpened and polished weapons and his armor. Said goodbye to his wives and took of. Horse-home, Rohan, Salabon had told the crow. The middle point between the dale lands and Gondor.
In bear form he would spend a few days running. He were an enormous bear when he chose animal form. People would see him at miles distance and most would stay away. There would be no trouble, he knew that. Both elves and Rohirim respected the large beorning and knew of his prowess as a fighter. As he croseed the border to Rohan he knew the Eorlingas would keep their eyes on him, but he knew also that he would be greeted as a friends for he was always glad to share his skills both as a brewer and as a smith, teaching both the art of blacksmithing as well as weapon and armor smithing.
“We will fight till first blood from the torso” Salabon said. “I need to know of you skill with the sword. After that we will have an hour of elven poetry and then some knowledge in the art of espionage”
Salabon stood in a classical defense stance.
Edmund lifted his sword as if to strike, but feigned and hit Salabon across his chest with his shield. Dazed Salabon could do nothing but put all his swordsman’s skill into defense. The boy showed great potential. The steel rung as Salabon parried the young man’s assault. Downstroke, backhand, overhand and spinn. His mother had taught him well. Salabon stepped left leading with his sword in a quick stabbing motion. Edmund feigned left then right and bashed with his shield again. A sharp pain by his ribs told him he had lost, but his father fell by the hard strike of the shield. Salabon opened his eyes as stared up on his bastard son. “You won” Edmund told him. If Salabon had won, he couldn’t feel it. Luckily it was only his ego that had been bruised.
It wasnæt only swordplay his mother hat taught him. Edmund were also an apt skald. Words came easy to him though he chose them well and did not spend them frivolously.
Some days later they arrived in Edoras. Salabon, greeted as a friend, often stopping an giving sweets to the children and chatting with men and women alike. Asking farmers of the harvest to come and giving advise of ails and remedies. As a summer thunderstorm Beoraborn were upon them gathering them both in a proper bear hug nearly relieving them of breath. “Friends!” he said. “It is good to see you! Long time!” His grin was fitting a man his size. Beoraborn put them both down and lokked from one man to the other. “I knew your mother” Beoraborn told Edmund. “I fought with her, she were a great warrior, you should be proud. How is she?” Edmund told the tale of Eadyth once more for he felt a great familiarity with this enormous man. “I am sad to hear of here health, but I am even more sad to tell you what I have discovered.” Beoraborn looked grim.
Barhador ducked, blocked, feigned, slashed, turned and stabbed. He had found the ork tribe 2 days ago, and had followed them to this dell. A perfect place for an ambush. So he had chosen to sneak in to the camp at broad daylight and attach from within. The orks never stood a chance. Keep one alive to tell the tale Barhador reminded himself. The something struck him. Not physically. It was more as if some magic connection was reestablished. That feeling of awakening. It was coming from the medallion. That medallion he had found in his backpack more than 30 years ago. The one that connected him to the halfling. Suddenly he was wide awake, as if the last 20 years had been a dream, as if he had been sleepwalking the whole time. He was more real, the colors were more vivid. Time was almost standing still. His reactions were sharper. He were now in total control of the fight. It was as dancing. He knew the steps. Left, slash, right,feign, backhand, duck, underhand, stab, two steps right, cross swipe. “I should have left one alive” he came to realize. And then he stopped. “I am awake” he thought, “Really awake. He grabbed his purse producing his gold coin from the horde of Scorba. It was warm.” “This means Jack is awake. THIS MEANS….”