- Ãªphal ki-*raznahÃª
- Posts: 2351
- Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:26 am
- Location: in the Angle; New England
I say a house because it was huge, now I have seen many a troll since I commenced to roam but this… this was a true monster. It's skin was a hoary green leather, it's maw a great gash rimmed with teeth the size of daggers and it had two great black tusks each the size of a man's thigh.
I stood staring in awe at the sheer size of it before my reverie was broken as it swept a man from the ground and bit through his mail tearing open his chest, flinging the ragged corpse into the shield wall facing it.
My father had formed his men into ranks but it was a desperate thing. The troll had a reach as long as any spear and they had not the men to surround and harry it. It was clear that they were losing, torn bodies lay everywhere while the troll seemed not to be harmed at all.
Still they drove it back great hearts that they were! Their spears rent in its flesh but it bellowed defiance and with a swing of its great arm it smashed a wall sending boulders the size of a man's head flying into the advancing troops. Then lowering its head it charged and the shield wall exploded as if it had been struck by lightning. It trampled and gored the men and the few survivors backed stunned into side streets in groups of ones and twos.
I saw my father supporting my brother who was bleeding and staggering and I ran to his side with my sword in my hand. He blanched when he saw me, but he was a stoic man. He didn't scream or chastise me but I will never forget the look of fear in his face, not fear for himself but for his sons.
He spoke quickly to my brother who rallied, grabbed my arm and began to drag me away, I fought him, I told him that we needed to stand with my father but Aldwyn found strength in desperation and he forced me down an alley as my father turned to bar the passage.
The alley lead us away from the horses and as we left it I got one last glimpse of my father, Illuminated by a flash of lightning with the shadow looming over him.
My brother fell as we reached the village green and he sagged onto the soft green grass. I screamed at him to get up, to flee or to fight but he was bleeding badly and holding his chest.
Then I realised that the rain had slowed and that the thunder now only sounded as a distant peal but that the lanterns on the green still gave off faint light. In the glow of these lanterns as I crouched beside my brother I realised that the screams had also stopped and that the town was silent. I started to cry, I knew my father was dead and my brother lay beside me dying and I was alone and I was terrified.
Then I saw it, a great shape looming out of the murk. It's baleful eyes shone yellow as it heaved its bulk into the light and I saw it clearly for the first time. It was huge, twice the height of a man and much, much broader. I saw feral intelligence in it's eyes, It's great claws as long as swords and a huge single black tusk. Blood spattered it's face and belly but it was the blood of men, it had slaughtered fifty men and was barely scratched.
I stood before my brother and brandished my sword. I was terrified, my hands were shaking and my mouth was dry but I stood, my thought only to die on my feet as a man of Rohan. But then I felt hands on my collar dragging me backwards. Strong hands, the hands of my brother as he pulled me back towards the edge of the well, I was off balance, I couldn't fight him and as he heaved me back and over the edge of the well he shouted my name… A shout that was cut off halfway through by a sickening crunch.
The well was not deep, I was battered on the walls on the way down but the water broke my fall and I clung there in misery, I looked up and saw a single eye peering down at me. It looked a long time before slowly shuffling away.
Recording - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q2PveK ... sp=sharing
Aragorn: It's the beards.
But I was found of course, the next day more warriors arrived and I was hauled out shivering and dirty and had to explain what had happened over and over.
There was no sign of the dead, I knew they had been eaten or carried off. My father's sword was found in the alley mouth though, broken in two and with it found a great black tusk as long as a man's arm. I think the newcomers had struggled to believe me until they found the tusk but it was my proof.
They took me back to my mother clutching the tusk and she consoled and soothed me but I was changed. Joy had fled from me, I blamed myself for the slaughter at Hunigham and no one could convince me otherwise.
I took to always riding with the patrols. My warcraft grew, I killed Orcs, Goblins and Hill Men but without passion they were not my enemy, my enemy was the troll with the black tusk.
And he was an enemy that had vanished. I took to riding alone further and further afield asking in at villages and inns for sightings of the troll with the black tusk. But no one had seen it, after the attack on Hunigham it had just vanished.
And that is where my name began, people started calling me Eofor Black Tusk and it has stuck with me throughout my long hunt. Wherever I roam people remember my enquiries after the Black Tusk and the name continues.
Recording - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PNVrpn ... sp=sharing
I rode to Edoras, I could not leave as a thief in the night. I carried the tusk with me and arrived during the great feast we called a symbel. It is a feast but it is more than that, it is a time to renew fealty, to re enforce the bonds between King and his retainers and it is as much ritual as it is feast. All the great men of the Kingdom were there and I was expected so met no resistance as I entered the Golden Hall and took my place on the bench.
Now everything in the symbel has it’s time and so I waited as the courtesies were observed and in due turn renewed my oath to King Thengel. Then his cupbearer passed the mead filled horn to all ranks and when it came to me I stood and drawing the black tusk from beneath my cloak I flung it heavily to the table. I drank heavily from the horn and took in the room.
Silence had fallen, all eyes were on me and I began the words that would seal my fate….. Vengeance…. Never to ride again the grasses of the Westfold…. Never to accept food or drink from my people…. I will not recite all of it, a bēot is a private matter but I was exiling myself from all I knew until the monster was dead.
There was silence in the hall, warriors boast all the time but a bēot is different. Baldor the hapless rashly sealed his doom with just such an oath and perhaps his example is why they are not common. Once I drank from that horn my oath was sacred and to break it was unthinkable. I looked around the room seeing nods of approval alongside frowns of disapproval.
I locked eyes with the king himself who nodded and I finished by crying aloud “Alas for the mailed warrior! Alas for the splendour of the prince! How that time has passed away, dark under the cover of night, as if it never were”
Then I emptied the horn, strode from Edoras and from that day to this I have hunted the Black Tusk.
Recording - https://drive.google.com/file/d/18R_EKa ... sp=sharing
More trolls, more deaths. At first I felt some need to fight them spear to claw like some sort of avenging hero but after a few near death experiences I took honour out of the trade. I have roamed far and wide seeking my demon. I have seen mountains of sand in the far south and spoken to men who live in ice houses in the North.
I am in my fortieth year now and by all measure prosperous. I have friends amongst Men, Elves and Dwarves. Villages welcome me and messages wing their way to me any time a troll appears but never since the night at Hunigham have I laid eyes on the Tusk. Every now and then though a report of a particularly large beast comes in and the hope flares again but when it is dead my search still goes on.
I once heard that in Rohan a saga had been made telling of the vengeance of Eofor of the Black Tusk and I paid a wandering bard to play it here in the Ravens Wing. It was wildly inaccurate but some parts were true. It’s likely that i have killed more trolls than any other man alive but unlike the heroic Eofor of the saga I don’t care how I kill them. Sometimes I will face them but I’ll just as readily shoot them, poison them, use caltrops or pit traps whatever it takes.
It’s funny how no one ever wants to hear those tales, you never hear ‘Gather round children, let me tell you of the time Eofor stuffed a dead sheep with wolfsbane and then stabbed the troll from a nice safe distance while it vomited’ but that is the truth of it.
How many have I killed? I would guess maybe two a year which would put the tally around two score or so. An Elf once told me of a great hero called Hurin, that he killed twice that in a single battle. For a long time I found myself marvelling at that feat, but then I realised it’s probably just nonsense too, no doubt he stabbed them from a nice safe distance while they vomited.
I doubt now that I will ever have my vengeance though I'm bound to pursue it. In all my years of wandering not one trace have I found. Instead I see every dead troll as a child who doesn’t have to hide in a well listening to his brother being devoured, another village spared a harrowing.
And one day I will fall, alone and forgotten in some desolate heath or mouldy cave to be eaten by a troll who was just that bit too fast, that bit too strong. No Simbelmynë will find the resting place of Eofor, Eofor the kinsbane, Eofor the exile, Eofor the shield of filthy hovel in the dark.
Recording - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZcHGdw ... sp=sharing
He had seen this before, he had recorded many tales and he knew that sometimes the process was painful and sometimes it was liberating. He didn’t know which it had been for Eofor but he hoped for the latter. Fineas tried never to judge his subjects but he felt both pity and admiration for the man silently repacking his pipe as he moved to the bar.
Recording - https://drive.google.com/file/d/14U0Rzk ... sp=sharing
It all came together over months as I tried to figure out what could possibly drive a man of Rohan out into the wider world, I drew on my knowledge of Anglo Saxon culture and using an example set out by Tolkien (in the form of Baldor) settled on the formal warrior boast as my justification.
There is a lot more of course, ranging from jumbled notes to heroic poetry (The Vengance of Eofor of the Black Tusk is almost a real thing now) and along the way Fineas has been recording weird and wonderful things in his book.
I encourage all of you to embrace your creative side. Like the Prancing Pony the forums are a warm and welcoming place and I encourage you to share your songs, poems or written works.
And even if you don't plan to share them write for yourself. There's nothing nicer than bursting into your own version of a walking song or having an in depth back story for your persona.
- Taylor Steiner
- Amrod Rhandir
- Posts: 570
- Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:31 pm
- Location: Great Falls Montana
Yep, it's an amazing story, and now I find my self waiting to read the story of when Eofor finally meets his black tusked enemy
Aragorn: It's the beards.