Hanasían - Recollections of a Dúnedain Ranger

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Hanasían - Recollections of a Dúnedain Ranger

Post by Snowdog »

(This is a series of shorts I wrote in the ten years since I created Hanasían in the TORc roleplay thread 'Shadow Over Arnor' in 2000. it has been revised and revised again, and I have worked details in from various roleplays he had been involved in over that time. There has been substantial character enhancement in the last 12 or so years as my wife and I have written a few long-term collaborative writing roleplays together, and I have a family history going ahead to Hanasían granddaughter. When I get it organized, I'll share it here.

About Hanasían

Hanasían, along with his twin sister Halcwyn, were born in the wild near Lake Evendim in the year TA 2990. He was the second of three children of Halasían, Ranger of the North, and Lady Forcwyn of Rohan. His younger twin sister Halcwyn was born later on the same day. Their brother Hayna was much older, and Hanasían would not meet him until the battle of the Corsairs in the War of the Ring. With the birth of the twins, there was hope that his father and mother would heal many wounds between each other. But the darkness that held Halasían had not let go of him. It only went to sleep for a time. One day he came back from hunting with worry, and he gathered what little they had and made their way to Rivendell where his wife and two children were allowed to pass, but he was not. Elrond had not forgiven him of his excesses in battle, and Halasían said goodbye to his family and was never seen again.

Hanasían was raised in Rivendell for a time, for though Forcwyn desired to return to her people in Rohan, travel was perilous, and she stayed until Hanasían was nine. He learned horsemen skill from her kin in Rohan and would return again to Rivendell some years later to study and learn the arts of the Elves and train. After a few years he started to ride with the Rangers. He was considered young of age, but the times were ever darkening, and it was deemed that the time spent in the field would be better training for the evil days to come. Hanasían learned much skill from the Rangers, of which many of the elder ones knew his father. During this time, he refined his skills with the bow, and of stealth and evasive movement. He mastered these skills, and they would serve him well in the years to come.

Unlike his father, Hanasían was a relatively good-hearted man and would visit his mother Forcwyn and sister Halcwyn in Rohan whenever he had the chance. It never seemed enough.

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~ Accounts of Hanasían, Son of Halasían of the Line of Halvarís Dúnedain ~

Having been learned in the Sindarin Elven language in the house of Elrond, and in the Rohirric language by my mother's people. Questions I have had since my childhood, and questions I would ask my mother of my father as I grew, only having a hazy shadow on the edge of memory of him. My dear sister remembered him not and would ask me of him.

What my mother would tell me of him when I asked was that he was a brave member of the Rangers of the Dúnedain, and rode with valour with three chieftains. But the look in her face and the wetness of her eyes told me more, and the stress on the Elven faces when I would talk of him told me there was much more to his story. So it was set in my mind as I grew in Rivendell that I would be a learned man, and I would search and find out of my father.

But it grew further among my thoughts as I matured and my mother, sister, and I moved to Rohan to be with her people. My mother's spirit was waning, and though beautiful and aged with care, it was a burden upon her to know she would never see her beloved Halasían again. She spoke long of her life and that of Halasían, of how they met and fell in love, and told me of my brother Hayna whom I never had met. I wrote it all down, and evermore grew to take interest in history.

So it was that I became a historian of the Dúnedain, one in a line of several who recorded the deeds of which the Dúnedain took part. But the records were sketchy at best. Some in the past took articulate notes, in a ledger barely decipherable, while others would write in the Westron and such, telling of events and festivals and marriages and lines. But many years were lost, and much before King Arvedui was lost in the war of 1974-75. All that was left was preserved in the lore of Rivendell, though the Elves gave little heed to that of men, their years so short in their eyes. When I returned to Rivendell at age 22, I took the time to go and read... read all I could of the Dúnedain, and I talked when I could with Elladan, who spoke freely of his times riding with the generations of men. Elrohir cared less to talk, but would "correct" his brother in details of events he saw differently.

It was such that I was able to collect these writings together and write them in good parchment and inks, preserving the knowledge of men from fading from the world at the departure of the elves. I also tried to keep close record of all I experienced, both good and bad, and ever through my years I would search and look for word of the whereabouts of my father, grandfather, and grandmother.

Herein I would read aloud to the younger of the deeds of the Dúnedain, and the readings were well received, both in The North and in the South, and so I hope it would be long after I am gone...

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The Battle at Raven Falls

It was a time not thought of too well among the brethren, for the world was darkening and the way of the lands were ever being pressed by darkness. But still we would ride to curb their forays into the lands about Eriador. One of these such times, 7 of us rode east in pursuit of wargs who ravaged the lands, and we drove them back into the woods of Rhudaur. But there was something not right about it, and mistakenly Elendir, who was in command of this ride in the absence of Chieftain Aragorn and Captain Halbarad, decided we should see what lingered there, and we set out into the rough country along the upper Hoarwell.

There in the lands that we Dúnedain called Rhuadur, we encamped by the river, above the great long falls named after the Raven, for there were nests of the birds, and the trees tall darkened the forest floor even in the brightest of days. But their inescapable beauty could not be denied, and with three on watch, the other four prepared camp.

Silently they came... hillmen they were and knowing of the terrain. they were upon us before we were aware. Elendur was down before we could react, and Kaldir we heard not from as he was on point watch. Gilrom came tumbling back toward the river from the rocks with a large brute of a man wrestling him for a knife. They battled with some tactic and this made me wonder... for they were not known for much skill in battle, and even the annals we do have from the days of the Northern Dúnedain kings spoke of how they knew little of tactics, and that under the direction of Angmar. Usually the orcs were the force used, so this was indeed strange.

Little time I had to ponder this as I was nearly impaled by a thrown spear, but Kallum had my back and we took down three. The rest were pushed off by the others and we gathered in defence to watch, sure the orcs would come. But they didn't, and I again pondered why this strange attack.

But time was fleeting for I was now beside Elendur. He was face down in the water with his legs ashore, the water lapping about him as the peace of the falls returned. Death was like that. The sound of it was the sound of the water rushing over the falls, or the sounds of flies buzzing about. its there, then total mayhem, then the buzzing again... Elendur was dead, and Kaldir was missing. It was told elsewhere different, but it is I who write these annals, for I was charged by Halbarad who wished not the job. Give it to the young guy who can write in the ancient elven script. Kallum And Gilrom made a wary search for Kaldir but returned in weary silence. The darkness held us close, and close and alert we remained by a fire blazing hot and large. For they knew we were there, and they knew we were not many, but we waited until dawn to move.

The first light caught me jumping awake, for I had dozed and entered into dream of which I will not speak here. We readied our horses, who somehow managed to gather and return after the attack. I climbed the falls and looked about for sign of Kaldir, but there was none. I did though see in the distance upon a rock a figure standing. The rising sun had not yet shone down on us and a mist from the upper reach of the river obscured my view, but it was no hillman, but seemingly one of stature of the Dúnedain. Was it Kaldir? No, for his dress was ragged, but in my attempt to gain a better place to stand to view, he was gone. I chose not to pursue, but returned to the others who had Elendur's body ready to move, and so we left in haste, to return to our camps in the North Downs.

Elendur lie there, prepared for burial there in a place many had been lay to rest through the years of battle and siege. Silent this place was in the North Downs, yet fear of the dead kept the evil of the land away from here. It was here we lay to rest Elendur, feared commander of a company of Dúnedain Rangers.

There were words spoken in an old language... Adûnic I believe, a language considered disgraced and long forgotten with the fall of Númenor. A short statement it was... a mourning of death. But it was the Sindarian murmurings that could be heard from many. I myself said nothing, but I listened to the sounds of the unusual words that were carried through the histories of our people. My mind went back in dream to the days when I first spoke to Elendur....

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~ Víressë 2, 3008 of the Third Age of Middle Earth ~

In Rivendell ...

Spring rains were falling all about the hills of Rivendell. The rain and the melting snows caused the Bruinen to call out its steady song. Hanasían had arisen early to go to the forges to learn of some of the Elven metal craft.

Hanasían was always hungering for knowledge. It was this that caused him to return to Rivendell three years ago. His writing he learned early and he studied the lore of the Elves. But now his thought was turned to weaponry and battle tactics. A good bowman he had become while in Rohan, and here he honed his skills under the eyes of the sons of Elrond. His swordsmanship improved greatly and his movements on foot were sure and quiet. It was his youthful mind that still caused hesitance of some of the elder Rangers. They had ridden and fought with his father Halasían before his birth, and were ever watchful of him. One such Ranger was Elendur.

"Young Hanasían..."

Hanasían turned and stood tall.

'Yes sir!'

"You wish to know so much... the metallurgy here of the elven blade-smiths, yet you are skilled in the craft of the quill. Realize now the days are growing evermore short, and the darkness spreads wide. You will ride with us soon, and the time for youthful learning will be evermore short."

And he walked off. This was the first meeting of many between he and Hanasian, for Elendur rode long with the Rangers, and he had ridden in the time with his Father, in the days of Arathorn! Yet such coldness came from him...

It may have been they feared the son would be like his father Halasían, who was an able fighter but sometimes too ruthless. In the watch in the north against wolves and orc raids, there was no question of Halasían’s strengths, but when he was in the south, it was said that his methods were unsound. Add to this a seeming lack of moral character that infected him while away from his wife for long periods, and Halasían ran afoul of his commission. He was none-the-less a dedicated servant of the chieftain, and never to this day could anyone say he did not serve the west in all he did. Some of the elder Rangers said it was a blood fault in him, and that if he had taken a wife in the north that he would have remained true. But Hanasían, overhearing such talk when they spoke among themselves would put this out of his mind. He knew that his line, the line of Halvarís had intermingled with those of lesser men through the years to the disdain of many Dúnedain. Hanasían would be a true Dúnedain Ranger, upright and strong! he would do all that was asked and more, but he would still seek that which he had done since he first came to Rivendell at a young age... find the fate of his father.

The days were evermore darkening, for news was rarely good. Far away news of the darkness of Mordor came from Gondor, and closer, the fell beasts, orcs and wild men of the hills were evermore restless, causing the Dúnedain Rangers to be ever more vigilant in their watch. The sons of Elrond would at times ride out with men of the Dúnedain, but Hanasían remained. But this would soon change. Until then, he worked in practice of his sword and his movement in stealth. He would challenge all he could in close combat exercise, and in this way Hanasían worked to ready himself for the day he too would ride forth on the watch.

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~ Evening of Lótessë 10, 3008 Third Age - The Call Comes to Hanasían ~

Hanasían had left his mother and sister in Rohan three years before. He had relative freedom here, and wondered about Araelwen's thought of escaping. Surely Lord Elrond was overly protective due to the fate of Celebrían, Araelwen's grandmother. The ringing of the swords spoke of fury unleashed. He would have to spar with her someday, though not when she is mad!

It was his time now for a while, and he read some old parchments of years past. Naught was said of Halasían in the accounts of Arathorn, but he spoke only in generalities.... Orc and wolf raids out of the hill country towards the west... repulsed with no loss... yet they become evermore bold. ...yet Hanasían poured over all he could of the time his father rode with the Rangers.

The drizzle faded to a chill wind and dampness, but the grey was lifting. The sun would break by evening, for the light on the western horizon grew brighter. Hanasían went out to the archery field and practiced his long range arc. He had a good knowledge of the bow while mounted, for the Rohirrim excel in this, but here he worked on his distance, and also marksmanship, in silence.

Yes, the sun began to light the trees... the days were darkening... when would he get the call to ride? Kaldil, another young Dúnedain too waited, and he too flirted with the young elf maiden.... though she is well older than us both combined in the years of the sun... she was still but a teen in the reckoning of the elves. But the games of youth were evermore ending.. Elendur's words echoed through Hanasían at these times....

The call came when Arkaeth, a veteran Ranger, took me aside from my sword practice and told me to prepare to ride out. This filled me with eager anticipation as I was finally asked to ride out with some Rangers!

Every bit of thought from that moment I put into preparation, listening to the kind suggestions from Arkaeth. I was even more eager to be able to spend time with this Ranger, for he had in his young days ridden with my father, Halasían. Maybe he would speak some of him? Maybe not... He instead told me to get rest, for it would be the last night in comfort for days uncounted...

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~ Dawn of Lótessë 11, 3008 Third Age - the First Ride Out ~

The hour before dawn came too soon. I had gone to bed early in hopes of gathering as much sleep as I could. But my mind would not let me rest. A passing doze here, a fitful turn there, and the darkness crept about silently around me. Somewhere in that deep of night, I fell into an unrestful sleep haunted with visions. Not bad visions, but their intensity caused the little sleep I did get to be more draining than restful. When the call came, I awoke in a start, but the rush of finally riding out had me wide awake in short order.

The dawn in Rivendell was misty and wet, with the dampness seemingly finding its way into everything. The chill stabbed at the bones as we set out from the gates of Rivendell. Turning hard to the north, we worked our way into the highlands of the woods of the Ettenmoors.

We moved in silence, and I followed third in line. There were five Rangers in all in this party, and we were riding a watch in the hills and would come out into the plains well north and west. Only Arkaeth knew for sure what word had come; and he would share it in due time. For now we rode silent. Even the horses were sure-footed and quiet, and they spread along a narrow path just far enough for them to see the other. Hand-sign was used as Arkaeth spoke of extreme noise discipline before we left. I hoped I would not miss a sign for I was in the middle of this line. It was a key place for communications when riding tight trail such as this, which was a very dangerous thing to do. I concentrated on knowing and passing correct sign, and listening close to anything that did not sound right. But all was as it should be with the birds starting their morning song.

After much winding and turning on this track, we came to where the trees and brush was not so tight. We gained elevation, and soon we came to a grove of trees well up in the hills. The light of the sun pushed against the eastern horizon, and we could see it would be a clear spring day. The mists and fog were well below us now, shrouding Rivendell in its secrecy. we dismounted here and watched out long and slow. Arkaeth asked in hand-sign what each of us saw, and we signed back. he them pointed well west, to some highlands that appeared far away, and motioned that it was our day's goal. We all nodded, and we mounted up again....

The day was routine according to Arkaeth and the elder Rangers in the party. This was a good thing they assured me, but I was overly excited about everything. I was ready to ride forth in battle with the evil folk who threaten the north. But it would not be so this day.

As we came to where Arkaeth wished to be, we set camp and watch, two on high points opposite each other each side of the dell of trees. the three left set the food, and rested and tended the horses. No fires this night.

I wondered about Elendur and where he was. I thought he would be here in his first ride with the Rangers... but it was not so. Arkaeth was in lead of this company, For Elendur took 4 others, including Kaldil, on another ride east of Rivendell.

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~ Loëndë, 3008 of the Third Age ~

Hanasían and the company of Rangers he rode with continued to ride north from Rivendell, staying out for weeks at a time. They would at times cross the rolling grasslands west to the Weather Hills where the places the Rangers kept were checked and re-supplied. But there was no hostile activity in these days, only rumor and old sign of the hillmen. They returned from a long sortie three days before Loëndë and were glad for the rest and clean up.

The feast of Loëndë in Rivendell was as usual a grand affair, but there was the looming cloud of the dark days even over these festivities. Despite this, Hanasían enjoyed the feast, and the festivities carried on well into the evening. But Hanasían had made off toward the river and sat in the grass with his quill and parchment to write. There he wrote until the light of the setting sun allowed no more, and the rising of the full moon had yet to clear the mountains to the east. But there he sat and thought. He considered the words of the Rangers from all his rides so far, and knew the calm would come crashing to an end.

Not sure when it happened, but as the moonlight rose ever higher behind the mountains, Hanasían found himself drifting into dreams. He had rested up well the last three days, but he did partake in ale and had some miruvore. Maybe it was affecting him now? He lay back and watched the shadowy light grow as the wind sang its soft song in the grass and trees. He sat up when he sensed something... someone nearby. Keeping low in the grass he peered out toward the east. A shimmer of silvery silk fluttered about in the soft breeze, and silently footsteps approached. An elven woman whom he had not seen before approached in a dance, maybe like the way Lúthien approached Beren in tales of old? Hanasian sat frozen in the grass as she neared. Her hair was as dark as the night as it wrapped about her face and shoulders. She was small as far as the elven women he had known were, and her skin seemingly browned, unlike any elves he saw before. She stood now before him and spoke in a soft voice...

"Son of Halasían you are?"

She spoke in a way that was seemingly sure, yet ended as a question.

'One of.'

He replied stiffly as he started to rise. She nodded and smiled, and her hand came to his shoulder and stopped him as she sat down in the grass beside him. Hanasían eased himself back down as he looked at the side of her face.

'Who are you m'lady?'

He asked softly, his breath being taken away by a light wisp if spicy scent. She looked at him with her dark eyes as a breeze wrapped her black hair about her face.

"I am Raven, born in Middle Earth long ago in Beleriand."

'But you are seen or spoken not of in Rivendell?'

...he asked. A sadness filled her eyes as she looked up toward where the moon was about to break out over the mountains.

"Elven lore speaks little of me except in lament, for the path I have walked among the Eldar through the ages has been one of pain and darkness."

Maybe he played right into her hands, for he felt helpless to relieve any of her pain. Yet his finger went to her cheek and took from it the tear that traced its slivery path from her eye. She jumped slightly, then took his hand into hers and held it to her cheek. The warmth of her cheek coursed through his cold fingers, and from there through his whole body. She whispered something in Quenya he did not hear fully or understand, and then she went on...

"I will go not to the west, for my home is here in Middle Earth. It is among the Edain that has brought me much happiness. Yet with that happiness, so too pain and darkness follows closely. For my immortal blood can follow not my lovers. Oh to be blessed with the doom of Lúthien!"

Her silken wrap billowed in the breeze as he was overcome with warmth. Her voice in his ear whispered to him,

"I have known the sons of Halvarís..."

Hanasían thought for a moment to ask her of his family so he could write, but he was lost to himself, captivated in waves of beauty and vision. His mind saw his fathers, and he fell deep into a trance as she melted upon him.

The birds were the first thing he heard as he shivered, the dew-soaked grass flattened about him glistening in the dull light of the morning. Away to the west the sun-lit hills were bright as day, but here it was still in shadow. He looked at the mountains to the east, and like a vague dream he remembered the midsummer night's moonrise. Was it all a dream? Vague glimpses of the woman seemed faded, but the visions of his forefathers seemed nearly real. Hanasían sat up and shook his head to clear the webs, and wondered of this mystery. It was then he realized a wrap of white silk was about his neck. He felt its damp softness, and knew she was indeed real. He stood and looked around, but there was no sign of her. He stretched his sore muscles and started walking back to where the Rangers camped...

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~ Urimë, 3008 of the Third Age ~

The summer came on hot and dry, and it was 4 days after midsummer that Hanasían and four others rode out from Rivendell. They made their way west and north, coming to the northernmost reach of the Weather Hills. There they would stay and watch, two men up high, and three down low. One man stayed at the encampment while the others watched. Yes, they were to watch the northern approaches for movement, but the heat made it hard for there was little water. The spring was not flowing much, so it took a lot of coaxing to get enough to fill ones bag. Hanasían found the duty hard in its monotony, but his mind stayed alert, even though he spent much time thinking and remembering Midsummers night.....

It was not until the ride after Midsummers Day did Elendur ride with me. But this was only due to the fact the two companies were riding out together under Halbarad's command. Elrohir, one of the sons of Elrond rode out with us as well. We had ridden north to the rise of Mount Gram, and we searched for sign of recent movement of the darkness. Wolves there were, but they stayed well away from the men of the West. Long it had been since the Witch King fled the north, but still his darkness still lingered.

It was this time that we first came to Raven Falls, on our way back by ways Elrohir knew. We mapped these ways in our minds as we went. It was now that Elendur spoke to me, and of course it was of my father.

"It is said your father Halasían lurks here in these hills. I believe it, for I see sign of his comings and goings. But I never see him for his knowledge of our ways is deep. The sign have always been old, though we did come by a place where he slept only three days before once."

His grey eyes looked into mine as I listened. I could feel him reading my thoughts. Maybe what he saw eased his mind? But that day forward he'd began to trust my good intentions. But he would speak no more of Halasían....

My mind lingered on these last words spoken. I stepped forward and began to speak of Elendur, though my mind was still far away in another time... the Sindarin came from my mouth....

'This man Elendur, a father to me since he had ridden with my father, spoke much to me one day when we were at Raven Falls. It was some years ago, but it seemed to me strange at the time that he spoke of death then. Did he know his life would end there by its singing waters? I do not know, but I do know that he taught me much in my years of training and in riding with him, and I hope to hold up his honor in all I do. To Elendur's honor, he rests now with his wife, and may all peace go to his son and daughter.'

I bowed in honor and stepped back. I was last to speak of him, so we all now took to covering his body.

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Battle of the Pelennor - The Aftermath...
Dated 23 Súlimë of the Year 3019 of the Third Age

Smoke still rose from the white city, but its fires had for the most part been contained and were fading. But the black smoke stains tarnished its white stone façade… where the stone was not damaged. And the air… death was in it. Every breath you smelled it. So many people were out in the fields in search of their loved ones. There were wives and mothers looking for their husbands and sons. Wounded soldiers looked for their missing comrades, and some of the Rohirrim grieving for their fallen horses. Yes, the smell of death... the crying of those who found whom they searched for, and the moans of those not yet dead from their wounds filled the air.

I am Hanasían, a Dúnedain Ranger from the northern lands of Eriador. I am weary from the days past, where the last decent sleep I, and my brethren had was in Dunharrow nearly a fortnight ago. Yet I sleep not, for I write now for the dead... those fallen in this great battle outside Minas Tirith be they man or woman of Gondor, Arnor, or the Rohirrim. We had defeated Sauron’s armies on this field. But the cost was high and this war is not yet over. For he hides now behind his great iron gates of Mordor, gathering his remaining strength, while we ourselves attempt to regain ours.

It seem a lifetime ago when I, along with well over two-dozen of my brethren answered a summons by our Captain Halbarad. He said we needed to ride in haste to come to aid our Chieftain Aragorn away south in the land of Rohan. We, along with the Sons of Elrond did ride south with speed, meeting Lord Aragorn and the escort of King Théoden of Rohan not long after crossing the River Isen. As the Rohirrim mustered for war, the foresight of Aragorn led us to take the Paths of the Dead. Of that part of the journey I have much to say, for Aragorn proclaimed himself to the Dead... he proclaimed himself Isildur's Heir! And they were called to the Stone of Erech to fulfill their oath. But here now I write for the new dead, those who lay about me here, those who will not return to their homes and families.

To the mouth of the Anduin we came in haste, and there with the aid of the dead and some local men (of whom I also have much to say, but again, another day) we fought and defeated the Corsairs of Umbar, the ancient brethren who had fallen into darkness and become enemies of Gondor. With their oath of old to Isildur fulfilled, Aragorn gave the dead their leave, and we took the corsair ships up the river. To Minas Tirith we came, arriving with the city engulfed in smoke and flame. Battle raged in and around the city walls, and elsewhere inside the Rammas Echor.

Swords rang, bows twanged, and engines thundered their deadly projectiles as the ships came ashore. The worst fighting I saw were where it was men fighting men… Easterlings battled Gondorians near the broken gates of the city; Variags fought we Dúnedain; Southrons and their mumakil against the Rohirrim and their horses. The beasts of Harad rampaging and the horses of the Rohirrim storming in terror.... So much death... We engaged the enemy almost immediately, but not before our surprise was complete.

A wound I had taken near my left eye, a lasting memory of the Variags of Khand. He came at me from behind in a ravenous yell, leaping down from the body of a slain mumakil. I had just turned an axe of his brethren and I turned, but I could not react in time. Pain I felt as I fell backward, the warmth of my blood rushing down my face. His knife would have claimed me but for the sure sword of Halbarad taking off his arm. But still we fought, for he tried to take my sword with his remaining hand. We wrestled and fell to the ground, and I killed him with a knife I found. It was his knife, still in the grip of his severed limb. He was dead but there was no time to think, for another came at me. As soon as one was dispatched another would jump at you, or you would stop another from the blind side of your brethren. Their attacks were fierce, but our defense was even more so. As a group we pressed on from the shores of the river toward the city. But chaos of a stampeding oliphaunt caused many of us to scatter. It was then I saw Halladan go down with a blow from a screaming Southron falling from the beast, but I could not tend him. Easterlings, ruthless in their attacks, came upon us. My blade rang and my foe's axe shattered, blood flew everywhere when darkness closed around me....

A pain I felt in my head, wondering if it was still upon my shoulders. I remember thinking that I should move my hand, and the feeling that came over me was pain. My eyes cleared the foggy grey that crept into the dark, and blurry figures moved about before me. Somehow I stood, my sword still in my hand. I shook my head in a shudder to either shake off the webs that filled it, or see if it would fall to the ground. And just as suddenly, an Easterling jumped before me swinging his axe. My arm moved and deflected his blow, and the Variag knife I still gripped in my other hand buried into his neck. I now fought, I was not thinking or seeing. Rage drove me on, slaying and swinging. I nearly had the head of a fair armored Gondorian soldier, his helm long missing and his face dark with dirt and blood. He too moved against me, and our swords coming together rang out a song that awakened us both from our blindness. Looking around, pockets of battle still raged, but the west was having the day. Without thought, I, and the young Gondorian stood back-to-back, taking down those orcs who still pressed their masters will. But soon fatigue had taken us, and we sat and leaned against each other, fatigue claiming us.

In the aftermath people searched, With Halladan finding me sitting against a smashed siege tower. I was surprised to see him, for I had seen him fall. He was missing a part of his scalp, but was in good cheer to find me. I looked around for the young Gondorian soldier I had fought with, for I wished to know him. But there was no sign of his presence, and I would never know who he was. Halladan walked me towards the gates of the city where tents were being used to treat the wounded.

In ones and twos and threes we Dúnedain brethren of the north came again together. Most, like me, had minor wounds of one sort or another, and as we gathered outside the smashed gates of the city, we looked about. Who had we lost? Aragorn himself came to us. He looked each in the face, the strain of battle on us all He seemed evermore relieved as his eyes met each of ours in turn. We all had lived with some of us having wounds to show. His look of relief suddenly become strained as he looked swiftly back over us, and he asked solemnly… where was Halbarad?

His hand was needed, for inside the city the house of healing was filled and overflowing with soldier and citizen alike. Those who could not be brought inside were laid in the streets, tended as best as could be. Out in the fields the tents of the wounded filled likewise, and the remaining were laid nearby where there was room. I had some healing experience, and so once my eye was tended and I could see straight, I did what I could for those wounded still in the field. All the while I looked for Halbarad, and my heart would tighten with each man I tended that I knew by their wound they would be dead by days end. What do you say to them? It is hard... so many dead and dying. A man of the Rohirrim, a young man he was. He was I would guess we just saw his twentieth winter. He talked in his native Rohirric tongue to his comrade next to him. He asked me to see to his friend, in good Westron like all was well. He knew he would die soon, but his concern was for his comrade who sat next to him. His friend didn't seem wounded but for a drying stream of blood that had run down his temple. But his mind was gone and he would stare only at a clover he pulled from the grass. The dying man told me he had taken a hard blow from the ground when his horse was slain in full gallop and fell from under him. The dying man told me his name, and only wanted me to promise his friend would get home ok, even while the last of his blood flowed out of him and he faded to death. I held his hand for a moment before his fried took it from me. I nodded and moved on.

The day was darkening, and I helped my brethren Kayan to our camp. His leg was badly mangled, and though he would live, he would suffer a severe limp. As we made our way, a halfling, dressed in the soiled and bloodied attire of the Palace Guard, wandered forlornly about, looking at the dead and dying. Others from the city searched still too, but most were now grieving while others prepared funeral pyres. As the night closed about us, the sons of Elrond joined us. We were for the most part together again, but still Aragorn's question remained....

Where was Halbarad?
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
--Bilbo Baggins
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Voronwë the Faithful
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Re: Hanasían - Recollections of a Dúnedain Ranger

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Thanks for sharing this!
"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
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