The Tales of Berethor
As a very young child Berethor could remember the tales his father would tell, tales of the Great War against Morgol of Morgoth and of the alliance between Elves, Dwarves and the free men and women that stood against the Morgothan hordes. After two decades of fighting the war came to an end at the battle of Ungol where Morgol was slain during the battle by the elven lady Ithril later slain during the battle by a Morgothan Goblin archer, after the battle Morgol’s body was destroyed by fire and his ashes were gathered up and put in a box and given to the dwarves to bury it deep underground to avoid Morgol’s follower’s bringing him back from the dead and his armies fled into the mountains or deep underground and Ithril’s body was taken back to the elven city of Mylee later renamed Ithril in her honour and her body laid to rest in the centre of tomb amongst the elven dead from the battle and peace had been brought to the lands. Centuries later the war against Morgol has passed into the realm of myth and legend but deep inside the shadows of Morgoth something began to stir as the dark creatures of Morgoth began to re-emerge from the shadows to once again answer the call of their master.
Berethor was a very unique person in the elven world, born into the world of man his father had once been a soldier who had made a name for himself at the battle of Iron Hill and his mother had worked in a tavern, when his father retired from soldiering he moved his family out of the kingdom of Gygax where they lived and they moved to a small village on the outskirts of the woods surrounding Ithril. Once they had settled into their new lives his father became a woodsman and that is when Berethor met the race that would eventually change his life and that day came when Berethor was only six years old, one rainy and storm filled night a large group of bandits descended upon the village and killed everyone, Berethor’s father had fought valiantly against the bandits taking his sword and axe to many of the bandits but with each swing and parry he grew tired and with each wound he had received also added to his exhaustion and he was eventually slain. Berethor had witnessed his father’s death and his mother took him and fled into the woods of Ithril and a small group of bandits followed them, once they had caught up with the young Berethor and his mother the bandits had their way with his mother before killing her and before they could find and kill Berethor a group of Elven Rangers came across the bandits, the Rangers led by Leofire Gladomain intervened and quickly killed the bandits and Leofire ordered his men to search for Berethor who was still hiding and they found him hiding in between two fallen trees, once they had calmed him down enough to be moved they took him back to the city of Ithril to determine what would happen to him and he would meet the young girl who would eventually become a good friend to him.
Now in his mid twenties Berethor and a member of the Elven Rangers thanks to his adoptive father he had practically forgotten about his old life, currently out in the woods of Ithril his group of Rangers had been joined by another group of Elven Rangers led by his friend Idril a direct descendent of Ithril now they were waiting for them to arrive. They have been tracking a group of Ork’s and Goblins that had entered Elven territory, the Rangers clothed in greens and browns could blend into the woods with ease and they carried all the equipment and food that they need whilst on patrol, sometimes they could be out for a few weeks up to a few months.
“Where is she?” Berethor said to himself as he looked around his group and some of them had just joined the Rangers before this patrol, he had posted sentries and sent four out as scouts to find Idril’s group, the sentries would make two different sounds, one if they found Idril’s group and another if the Goblins and Ork’s were approaching and if that happened they would quickly hide in the surrounding area and set up an ambush. As the patrol came in one by one and reported to Berethor about what they had found three of them found nothing but one brought possibly grave news to his attention.
“I found discarded Ranger equipment along with Ork and Goblin equipment and a few bodies in a clearing not far from here.” One of the scouts told Berethor who was worried “break camp” he told them “you’re lead” Berethor told the ranger that brought the news and they followed the lead ranger to where the discarded ranger and Ork and Goblin equipment was found, once they arrived Berethor split his group into two groups, one to see what ranger equipment they could salvage and the others trying to find the missing bodies of the Idril and her patrol of Elven Rangers.
“Found anything?” Berethor asked one of the group trying to find the bodies of the missing Rangers “nothing yet, all we can find is Goblin and Ork bodies” he was told.
“This looks like a patrol that’s been ambushed.” One of the Rangers dealing with the Ork and Goblin bodies at the moment making Berethor walk over to one of the Goblin bodies which was laying on its front with a few arrow in its back, the dead creature had dark blood that had started to dry on its armoured back and Berethor knelt down and pulled the arrows out of its back and placed them to one side before he rolled the body over and looked at the creature, its large eyes were still open the creatures face was scarred down one side of its dark green face and its nose had a number of ring piercings in it and its weapons were still sheathed and he looked at the rest of the bodies and they were all the same and looked at the tree line around the clearing.
“Okay Idril, you can come out now.” Berethor said aloud and several Elven Rangers came out of the tree line around the ambush area, the ones that just came out of the tree line were still wearing the hoods of their cloaks were still up and one of the Rangers took down their hood to reveal an elfin woman that kept her red hair short and under her Rangers uniform she wore the crest of elven royalty, her eyes were as green as the forest during the summer months.
“Had you worried Berethor?” she asked the human elven ranger and the other Rangers removed the hoods of their cloaks “you certainly did Idril; I would not have wanted to explain to your uncle why we could not have found your body.” Berethor said as the Rangers picked up their discarded equipment as Berethor and Idril went to one side to talk.
“What happened here?” Berethor asked Idril as the rest of the Rangers finished discarding the bodies of the Goblins and Ork’s “they came across us, the sentry alerted us and we left some of the equipment in the clearing and we ambushed them.” Idril replied before she gave the order to move out, Idril was also unique, after the death of Ithril during the battle of Ungol elven women were not allowed to fight be it in the Rangers or the rest of the elven army but Idril was allowed to serve in the Rangers because one day Idril will lead the elves of Ithril and she also outranked Berethor.
As they continued their patrol they started coming across signs that the main body of the Ork and Goblin that had invaded the woods, tree’s had been hacked down to make a path, animal carcasses littered the ground and they knew they were close as the signs of their presence started to become more frequent eventually they caught up with the group of Ork’s and Goblins, they had hacked a small clearing and found them sitting around a fire laughing and grunting at each other.
“Berethor you take your group and go round the back and hopefully cut off any chance of them escaping.” Idril told Berethor “yes my lady Idril” he replied knowing that she did not like to be called lady and put on the hood of his cloak as the other Rangers did the same before he started to take his Rangers round the back of the Ork’s and Goblins and Idril moved her group into position and soon the encircled the group and the drew out their bows and an arrow each from the quiver of arrows on their backs and drew the bowstring and each picked a target and waited for Idril’s signal which was a bird call and every one of the ranger’s had to know that signal to make sure the ambush was successful. Idril gave the signal and they all loosed their arrows, several of the Goblins and Ork’s were killed but the ones that were wounded drew their swords and the Rangers dropped their bows and drew their secondary weapons, Berethor’s was his father’s sword it was just a simple sword compared to the all the others but it still did its job and the Rangers came out of the tree line to finish off the wounded Ork’s and Goblins, one Ork knocked Berethor to the ground with a backhanded slap to the face making Berethor drop his sword so he went for the elven knife that he kept had strapped to his leg and pulled the knife free of its sheath and watched as the Ork to bend over and try to pick him up by his neck, as it reached for him Berethor suddenly sat up swung the arm that had the knife into the Ork’s neck which was unprotected and twisted the knife in the neck of the Ork which let out an almighty squeal as Berethor continued twisting his knife as dark blood poured from the killing wound in its neck then pulled it out and the creature fell to the floor dead its blood still pouring from the neck as Berethor picked himself off of the floor picked up his father’s sword and returned to the small battle. Once the battle was over they dealt with the Ork and Goblin’s bodies and weapons and took some proof for the Elven Council they had to make sure that they had got them all so they sent some scouts out, when the scouts returned they reported no signs of any Goblins or Ork’s then they started on the journey to Ithril.
The Elven city of Ithril had no walls as the elves felt no need for a walled city in a forest the larger buildings were built around the trees and these buildings housed the people of great importance in Ithril and at the centre of Ithril were two of the biggest buildings of the city, one of the buildings holds the council meetings and the other building held the bodies of the Elven dead that fell during the great war against Morgol, when the Rangers returned to the city Idril went to see her uncle who was not only leader of the Elves in Ithril but also head of the council of Ithril whilst the rest of the Rangers headed off to their barracks on the outskirts of the city.
Idril was walking down the streets of Ithril on her way to see her uncle she looked around and saw Elven kids playing in the streets and she remembered at one time she was like this, but she had guards to watch her and then one day she had heard rumours of a human boy living amongst them and was curious and decided to sneak into the council chambers where the council would determine if he would stay or be sent back to the world of men but thanks to the Elf that would become his adoptive father he was allowed to stay. Once Idril arrived at her uncle’s two guards that had been placed at the entrance of his home stood to attention as she walked past them and into her uncle’s home where she found him looking at some maps on his table the room was full of painting’s and tomes of Elven history and folklore and ancient Elven maps.
“Ah Idril, I trust your patrol went smoothly?” her uncle asked.
“No uncle” Idril said and her uncle raised an eyebrow at her “we found a group of Ork’s and Goblins in the woods, looks like they came from Morgoth.” She finished and her uncle stood up.
“Do you have any proof?” he asked his niece and Idril walked over to his table and pulled out from her cloak a pair of gauntlets and a helmet that she had taken as proof and placed them gently on the table “if these are Morgothan, then they’re a long way from Morgoth.” Idril replied as her uncle picked up the gauntlets and studied them “I fought at Ungol alongside Ithril and after the battle I had hoped to never see anything from Morgoth ever again, I will call an emergency council meeting.” He told his niece who left his home and headed to the Rangers barracks and Idril’s uncle watched her from a window.
Meanwhile at the Rangers barracks Berethor was currently standing over a bowl of water and had his knife in one hand which he had cleaned off the Ork blood and now he was going to shave off the beard that he had acquired during the patrol, with one hand he scooped up some water and washed his beard with the water before taking his knife and started to shave he took his time with the shaving and every so often dipped the knife into the bowl to remove the hair from the blade, he had to be careful with the knife as it was an Elven blade therefore it was razor sharp. The Elves could not understand why Berethor could grow a beard and the male Elves could not.
“Why do you even shave Berethor?” one of the Rangers asked him and Berethor stopped to answer him whilst cleaning his knife.
“Have you ever seen a Dwarf eat or drink?” he asked and the Elf looked puzzled “well I have and it is not a thing to see.” He continued and resumed shaving, once he finished he washed his face and dried his face as Idril arrived.
“An emergency council meeting’s being called.” Idril told Berethor and he looked at her.
“Why?” he asked Idril knowing that her uncle was the head of the council of Ithril, “those Ork’s and Goblins we encountered may be Morgothan.” Idril replied as she took off her cloak and hung it up with the other cloaks.
“Wait, are you telling me that Morgothan Ork’s and Goblins escaped from Morgoth?” he asked.
“Possibly or someone has commanded them.” His friend replied before continuing “there is the possibility that we may be at war with Morgoth again soon.” They started to walk to the Chief Rangers room to report what had happened; once they arrived they were joined by other Ranger leaders and one the walls of the Chief Ranger’s room where paintings of the Rangers actions even during the battle of Ungol where a lot of Rangers had lost their lives also on the walls were various types of Elven swords, shields and bows that were used by the Elves and most of the Ranger leaders had nothing to report until Berethor and Idril were asked to report.
“Mine and Berethor’s group came across a group of Ork’s and Goblins that we think may have been from Morgoth, Unduril.” Idril told the Chief Ranger who looked at Berethor to confirm Idril’s story.
“Yes I can confirm her story is true, my group came across Ork and Goblin tracks and we proceeded to dispatch them in an ambush.” Berethor told Unduril but decided to leave out Idril’s ambush in case Unduril reported that bit to her uncle.
“But were they from Morgoth?” Unduril asked.
“That is a possibility.” Berethor replied before Unduril dismissed them and they left the room and Unduril looked at the paintings on the wall that depicted the Rangers battle at Morgoth and sighed.
“I hoped that we would never see those days again.” He told himself as he remembered the history lessons from his father who had fought at the battle and he knew that there would be an emergency council meeting to discuss the possibility of war