God of middle-earth 15
Dundro muttered obscenities to himself as he flew back into the cornfields once again. The bag he bore on his back was starting to feel like a dead weight dragging him down. But no way was Dundro going to falter now.
He chanced not much more than a glimpse backward, only to find that the Orc Scouts were hot on his trail. In fact, they appeared much too close for comfort. He blew the hair from his eyes, panting profusely. He was still riding on an adrenaline boost but it was not going to last forever. The wind whistled by, Dundro's feet noiselessly slamming the ground. In a flash of inspiration, Dundro abruptly changed course towards the marshes, where he hoped he may be able to shake off his pursuers momentarily.
Unfortunately, so did the Orcs, it seemed. They split up and took two routes, converging on Dundro's intended destination.
The minutes ticked on... Dundro was already feeling the burn in his legs. He was calculating his options, but there wasn't much to consider given that the current terrain was homologous cornfield. He also noted that the sky was darkening and the made was now a bright orange disk set in the maroon sky.
To make things worse, an ear-piercing howl soon cut through the air like an arrow. Dundro's stomach turned violently. If the Wargs or something else entered the picture, he really was dead meat. His options were thinning out, and so was his stamina.
Finally, he couldn't take it anymore. His legs managed to carry him to a clearing in the fields, after which they promptly collapsed. Dundro landed on the earth with a painful thump. Legs twitching in fatigue, he crawled feebly among the long stalks and prayed.
It did not take more than a few seconds before a pungent scent filled the air yet again. Dundro cowered fearfully.
Dundro knew he had run out of ideas. If the Orcs could even follow him here, he was as good as dead. He remembered the very reason they were targeting him in the first place. He fished around in his breast pocket and gripped the vial. The pearly liquid sloshed around, appearing to have a glimmering aura in the dying sunlight. He barely had the faintest idea of what it was capable of but he wished hard that somehow he might escape from his plight.
The figures of the Scouts appeared in the clearing. Upon glimpsing their hideous visage, Dundro was gripped with overpowering fear. He made a valiant attempt to pick himself up and dash off as fast as he possibly could, but unfortunately his legs were still not up to the task, they were slumped uselessly on the ground. "Please go, please go, I'm not here", he thought furiously, as if that might help solve his current problems. And then, the Orc knelt down. Dundro's heart dropped into his throat. He screamed soundlessly as his throat choked up. The Orc peered into Dundro's exact location. The empty black eyes seemed to bore into Dundro's soul, the sallow, cracked skin was barely a foot away from Dundro.
The Orc breathed heavily. After a while, he picked himself up and stood up again. He grunted to his comrade and the both took off into the distance.
Dundro looked at the vial, eyebrows raised. "Huh," he wondered. And then, out of his fatigue, he promptly collapsed into a deep sleep.
God of middle-earth (14/n)
Dundro exercised significantly less caution heading back for Hobbiton. Having not seen a sign of the enemy on his way here, he was confident that the same would be true on the way back. Little did he know how wrong he was.
Dundro had now convinced himself that his plan was in retrospect, far too paranoid. Maybe he had been dreaming things. After all, he did not have any evidence that the Orcs were hunting him specifically, right? Yes, okay, the sword lying amongst Farmer Sandy’s corpse was a giveaway, but that didn’t really say much about their target, didn’t it? And it wasn’t as if regular Orcs, with their dismal intelligence, were even capable of coordinated attacks. Comforted by these thoughts, he marched on.
Meanwhile, a few bushes away, the two Orc scouts had moved into position. Hobbits walk quietly, thereby concealing themselves from detection. That is, detection from regular Orcs and other ‘lesser beings’. But these Orcs were the elite. To their heightened senses Dundro was like a mobile circus to them. They had already been following Dundro since he had first step foot into the cornfield. They stalked him with practised ease, awaiting further instructions from the Albino, though they knew full well that they could slaughter Dundro and recover their precious cargo before he even realised he was dead.
Dundro marched ahead, whistling to himself merrily, pushing aside cornstalks. Suddenly, a pungent smell filled the air. He breathed loudly and the scent wafted down his nostrils. He stopped and frowned. He placed a hand on Sting and drew it. The blade shone electric blue. Immediately, Dundro took in the nature of the suurounding. Without a second thought, he fled, purposefully concealing the sound of his footfall, Sting in his hand.
Meanwhile, the Orc scouts had received the scent. They prowled, and gave chase. There was a silent communication between them. The game was on.
God of middle-earth (13/n)
The fields of cornstalks ended quite abruptly. It was smaller than Dundro thought. Perhaps it was just the continuity and “unchangingness” of it that lent itself to the illusion.
Interestingly, this was also where Dundro’s plan ended. As he approached th end of the field, he stood there thinking a while. Well, now what? he thought to himself.
And that, he had no idea.
So Dundro decided to double back and investigate. Maybe, the Orcs would search up and down in Hobbiton but to no avail, while Dundro would be cackling gleefully concealed by thick shrubbery.
Thus he turned back and proceeded back to Hobbiton, stomping irritably on the undergrowth yet making so little noise as to render him invisible.
Not completely invisible.
God of middle earth (12/n)
Dundro shut the door to his hobbit hole. He adjusted the straps of his rucksack that were chafing his skin. Then he looked into the night.
No light from the heavens nor the ghostly moon could penetrate the gloomy clouds. Thus night, which was usually lit up like day from the jewelled sky, was as dark as pitch. It was the perfect night to make an escape from somewhere. Dundro nodded. He had chosen a good night to execute his plan. He crept silently yet swiftly down the main road.
He was walking, walking... with naught but a pilot flame to illuminate the immediate path. Dundro felt his senses heighten under the influence of adrenaline such that the song of the lark sounded like a symphony in his ears, the crackle of leaves beneath his feet an earthquake.
He continued like this until he decided to divert from the main road and into the cornfields, thus providing more cover against the marauding Enemy. And more cover for them, whispered a voice in Dundro’s head. He quickly shut that voice out.
At last he came to the fence separating grass and cornstalk. He walked round and found a path through the fields. At last, the clouds parted, and the moon shone in full splendour. The ears of corn and wheat far and wide caught its light. Dundro forged ahead, making no noise whatsoever, creeping forward.
God of middle-earth (11/n)
Dundro stared at the giantic rucksack that lay on the floor. He made sure all his belongings were in the bag. Food, check. Food, check. Clothes, check. “There and back again”. Check. Sword, check. (The sword was, the one and only Sting). Mithril armor. Check. Food, check. Water, check.
Dundro huffed. He slung the bag over his shoulders and teetered around wildly. Maybe abit too much food.
Again he stared at the bag, cursing himself for even conceiving of this suicidal plan. He should have known better than to just simply leave Hobbiton with no knowledge of the future. The plan had more holes in it than cheese! For one, Dundro had no clue how to prevent a possible encounter with the Orcs. Neither did he know the locations of each of them who would surely be located around the town. Despite all that, how would Dundro even handle an encounter? He didn’t know how to use a sword in the first place either!
But what would become of him if he stayed? Only death would await. Who knows if the Orcs were capable of diplomatic problem-solving. And thus, Dundro sat contemplating his choices with Death curled up beside him.
It was not long before he made his choice.
God of middle-earth (10/n)
Dundro was shook with disbelief as he held the ugly squarish sword he retrieved from the dead body of Farmer Sandy's livestock. Orcs!!! Dundro thought, as the revelation came to him. But what did that entail exactly?
The Orcs are hunting someone! he realized. He set the sword down, hands clammy and trembling. Oopsies, he thought. As much as the majority of Dundro had the right mind to give the Orcs a piece of his mind for depriving Hobbiton of kingly feasts, now he wasn't so sure. He didn't have nearly enough balls for that. He left the Farm rather quickly, leaving Farmer Sandy in suspense.
Dundro was back in Bag End soon enough. He felt much pity for the someone the Orcs were targeting. He looked back upon Farmer Sandy's speech laughed heartily. It would seem the bounty upon the perpretrator's head would remain uncollected.
And then he remembered. The vial. Yes. Dundro had almost forgotten about it. The vial was originally in possession of the Orcs. Of course they want it back. Dundro now regretted taking the vial from the Orcs in the first place. "Oh dear," voiced Dundro to himself. "I'm in a proper fix."
Because, of course, the Orcs were targeting poor old Dundro.
Almost in a trance, Dundro made for the old secluded clothes cupboard, in which he was currently storing the stolen vial. He found it in the drawer and juggled it glumly. How he regretted that fateful moment when he picked up that vial from the mud!
While holding the vial, he dragged his feet to the guest room and slumped onto a chair, deep in thought.
The Orcs were targeting him, so he was definitely not safe at Bag End. Yet, the only reason why they hadn't yet came for him was because of the simple reason that they didn't know where to look! Sadly, because of that, potentially all of Hobbiton was in danger as the Orcs would probably search every home until they found him and the vial, at which point Dundro would not want to be. On a related note, the killings of Farmer Sandy's livestock was already a mistake on the Orcs' part. Dundro was now aware of their presence and had all the time up til their searching of the houses to formulate a plan.
And a plan he did formulate. But Dundro was liking this plan less and less with each passing minute.
God of middle-earth (9/n)
Some weeks had passed since Dundro returned from his adventure. He resumed his normal life albeit changed, especially so by the strange vial he had collected from a passing horde of Orcs.
Up til now, Dundro had resumed his usual activities such as catching up with his friends, tending to his exotic plants, transcribing Bilbo’s book, exploring the remainder of the treasures at Bag End, and so on. The days were long and time trickled slowly, giving Dundro more time to do what he liked.
Up til now, that this. Dundro woke up to a different sort of day, not a day of adventures, no, but something slightly.
Dundro was aroused early in the morning by a great din. This was in itself extremely perplexing. He got up, exceedingly curious and rushed outside to investigate the source of the noise. No sooner than he had left the house, he was swallowed up by a congregation of Hobbits all headed down the road. Dundro approached a portly, red-faced man and questioned him where the crowd was headed to. He informed Dundro that they were making for Farmer Sandy’s residence, where he was about to make a major announcement. Huh, wondered Dundro.
Farmer Sandy was a farmer by trade, holding a high social class amongst the hobbits from all over the Shire. His repute was largely attributed to his astonishingly mouth-watering, lamb, chicken and mutton. Not only that, he grew and sold the most succulent vegetables around. And thus he grew to great acclaim as remember, Hobbits had an extremely high regard of food.
A few minutes of brisk walking later, they approached the large Hobbit-hole that was Farmer Sandy’s residence. Erected by the side of the hill was a great tent, under of which Farmer Sandy had placed a number of chairs. Some speech he’s giving, noted Dundro. Not long after he had taken his seat, Farmer Sandy appeared on the stage.
“My dear Hobbits,” he announced sorrowfully. “I have called upon you all today for I wish to make an Announcement. Not just any announcement, but an Announcement. I shall attempt to make it brief, but it is with much grief I would like to Announce that almost half of my sheep, cows and lambs have been killed.”
His statement drew a collective gasp from his audience. Scarce could they imagine life without Farmer Sandy’s scrumptious meat. What a torture that would be!
He wasn’t done. “I have also discovered, to my shock, that around half of my fields have been ravaged overnight.” This was too much for the Hobbits to bear. Most jumped up from their seats in outrage. No more steamed radish? No more buttery potatoes? NEVER!!!!
Farmer Sandy calmed (or attempted to) his audience. “I am calling upon you all to assist me in locating the culprit. A bounty of 5000 gold coins lies upon his head!"
This statement drew oohs and aahs from the crowd. He continued to moan and curse the perpetrators for quite a while in the same vein. After which he released the crowd which dispersed, chattering amongst themselves.
Dundro was intrigued by the Announcement. It was rather suspicious. Half the livestock and half the crop? Dundro approached Farmer Sandy and asked him if he could take a look at the damage wraught. This drew a look of slight surprise from the old man, but he agreed nevertheless.
Dundro proceeded behind the (Hobbit) hole to arrive at the farm. Farmer Sandy was right. It looked as if around half of his livestock was brutally killed. Slash marks were visible here and there. This narrowed down the list of suspects considerably in Dundro's mind. He walked forth, his stomach wailing at the loss of potentially heavenly dinner. He peered into the mess of bodies and limbs.
Something caught his eye.
It was a shiny, metallic object embedded in the body of a poor calf. Dundro pushed away some of the bodies to take a closer look, in morbid curiosity. He grasped it and tugged lightly. It gave away and Dundro was holding said shiny metallic object.
It was, in fact, a sword. But not just ant old sword. This blade was crudely shaped and squarish. It belonged to only one person (or persons, for that matter).
God of middle earth (8/n)
The Horde of Orcs were marching, marching. These were the elite Ones, the ghaash Durub, highest in rank and power second to only the Great One. He had sent his most elite ghaash Durub in search of two objects very valuable to him. He had instructed them to locate these objects and bring them to him. He himself was not strong enough yet to venture out, yet...
"There is still time, "thought the Great One. He sat in a mighty throne in a dark but vast chamber. Swiftly I shall complete my quest, under no one's eyes, and rise to my former glory once again. "And the, the whole of middle-earth will be mine to control." He smiled at the very thought of his global dominion, in the dim light of his subterranean Lair.
Meanwhile, the ghaash Durub were approaching the Great One's lair. After many trials and tribulations, they had managed to seek the items requested by their great one. It was a tough journey, and many in their ranks fell to ensure that these objects were safe in the hands of the Orcs. Nevertheles, their journey was nearing completion having successfully acquiring both items.
The Great One's musings were cut short as a hobgoblin approached him requesting permission to let the Ghaash Durub Horde in. The Great One chuckled gleefully and ordered their entry.
The Albino Orc that led the Horde came forth in front of the Great One. He bowed respectfully, producing a small chest wrought in stone. He opened the lid of the box.
The Great One was filled with excitement at seeing the most crucial part of his ultimate plan fall into place. So it could be reasonable to say that he was caught off guard when he saw only one of the two objects present in the box. He roared in fury, and the albino orc was shocked at his master's reaction. He glimpsed the contents of the box and was instantly stunned. He remembered quite clearly handling both the items and placing into the box himself. But what could have happened?
It was too late, the Great One was angered beyond measure. He roared with such force even the mountains trembled. He ordered the Albino Orc to search and secure the second item in the same vein. The Albino left hurriedly, not caring to stay one more second with his masters blood curdling rage. As he left, he tried to recall how he could have lost the most precious object. He thought back to the only encounter they had when returning to the lair. "Yes! The Hobbit! Of course!" he thought in a moment of realisation. And thus, he marshalled yet another Horde and left the Lair, making for Hobbiton.
As the Albino Orc rode upon his Warg, he gritted his teeth, vowing to slaughter anything that stood between the way of him and the second object.
God of middle earth (7/n)
Dundro returned to Bag End after a merry day’s out with Menez and Chacko. He brought out the vial of liquid he’d pocketed from a band of Orcs and stared at it intently for a long while. Suddenly, a realization hit him like a thunderbolt. He knew the habit of attachment to strange objects; Great-Granddad Bilbo and Grand-Uncle Frodo had both mentioned it in their tales! And then, inexplicably, the gruesome description of the creature Gollum surfaced in his mind.
Suddenly, Dundro didn’t really feel so attached to the vial anymore.
He ran here and there taking turns randomly in Bag End til he finally arrived at a room with an old, old wardrobe in it. Hastily he pulled open a drawer and placed the vial under a pile of gold trinkets. Such small treasures were abundant in Bag End, being tokens that Bilbo had taken from the Mountain from which Smaug the Dragon was slain.
Dundro sighed. It looked like his adventure had finally come to an end. And thus he resumed his usual schedule.
Dundro made for one of the bigger rooms in Bag End. In it was a large chair facing a tilted pedestal upon which the original copy of “There and Back Again” lay. Behind this was an elaborate scribe’s set, as well as a moderately large, intricately binded book. Dundro was transcribing Bilbo’s book into that of his own. This was because the original copy had already lived out its days, the magnificent grandeur of the tome had depreciated, by a great margin. The maps were smudged and illustrations faded. Dundro thus took great care in restoring the classic tales of what was likely the greatest Hobbits to have ever graced Middle-earth (besides of course, the one and only Bullroarer Took himself). And his efforts bore fruit indeed. Toiling hours and hours in the stuffy room had given rise to an epic reproduction of the original book. The illustrations and writing were made more vivid and more striking than that of the original. But there was something more than just reproducing the book. Dundro followed his ancestors through every minute of the adventure they were embroiled in. The successes and hardships that they so eloquently transcribed reblossomed in Dundro’s heart. He would sometimes read for hours, not noticing the time at all.
Thus Dundro took in, sitting down in the old chair and resumed working.
He was surprised to note the increased passing of time. He felt as if no sooner than he had sat down, the sun was peaking in the heavens. He got up from his seat and headed out.
Bag End had seen an redecoration ever since Dundro took up residence. He had started a farm of sorts, but grew exotic and wild-looking plants that bore colourful flowers. These he allowed to grow all the way over the hill upon Bag End. He took delight in caring to these plants almost every day. While he was staring intently at this particular fern whose leaves appeared to have succumbed to the wrath of the snail, his musings were dissolved by a hail from his dear friend, Sanaja Gamgee. The Bagginses had continued to hold extremely close relations over the years especially that fateful adventure that brought Frodo and Samwise closer together than ever.
“Ahoy, Dundro!” he exclaimed.
“Sanaja!!!” Dundro, took off, leaving the defaced plant.
He caught up with Sanaja, who took him to a nearby creek, where both Menez and Chacko were waiting.
Thus the afternoon was spent, four friends in conversation over a heaping pile of sandwiches that disappeared too quick. They ran back home together laughing, the sun setting behind them.
And thus Dundro resumed his daily schedule after a short but sweet adventure he had not anticipated coming. But little did he know, that short adventure would change his life in such a profound way....
God of middle earth (6/n)
Dundro’s mind was suitably preoccupied all the way back to Hobbiton. The strange article he found returned to his mind even when he wasn’t looking or holding it. The object he found wasn’t consuming him like the Rings of Power though, it was in fact Dundro’s overpowering curiosity that compelled him to investigate and look into this object.
It appeared to be a phial of some sort. The stopper of the phial was stuck fast and no amount of force exerted by Dundro could uncover it. Filled in it was a curious clear liquid that pulsed polychromatically. The liquid glowed dimly and appeared to have an aura of azure. When Dundro put his ear up against it, he could have sworn hearing a choir of Elven angels.
Thus he admired it, making the now relatively short journey back home undisturbed by no Warg nor Orc, though the only hindrance was Dundro’s ever-growing hunger.
And thus he completed his journey. No sooner than he had ascended the main mule-way into Hobbiton, he was crowded upon by a band of Hobbits, some of which were his friends but most of them were the rest of Dundro’s Hobbit-mates who had turned up to investigate the apparent disappearance of one of their kin (which remember, was an unusual event in any case whatsoever). They took one look at Dundro’s sodden tunic, mud-caked feet, and decided that this was a mere characteristic of the Baggins family, leaving to resume their chores. Dundro’s closest friends, Chacko Took and Menez Brandybuck. They all began exclaiming simultaneously multiple variations of: “Where the ’ell were you?”. Dundro patted them on their backs. “No worries. I’m here. But you guys won’t believe what I went through!”
And thus they all walked back to Bag End, Dundro gleefully regaling his friends with his experience.