Stories > Prologue
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“I have had enough,” said Hallas to himself. He had awoken sweating after the dream. He just sat on his bed thinking. Then he decided: He had had enough, heard enough and particularly seen enough. Time had come to tell someone about his dreams. Even if they might be nothing or just after dinner effects, he must tell them to someone. He arose and told his guard that he was going to see Ceorl.
He walked over to Ceorl’s tent and identified himself with the guard. He went inside as the guard awoke Ceorl. Once awake, Ceorl asked, “ What’s amiss?”
“I must tell you something that has unsettled me,” said Hallas to Ceorl. Then he recounted the dreams he had been having for over a week. "I fear that it might be a message from a higher power that this riding will be disastrous."
After that Hallas considered him in a calculating way, as if determining whether or not he were telling untruths.
Ceorl asked, “Didn’t you suspect these were just before war fears manifested into dreams?”
Hallas, “Yea. But still, if there is some truth to these dreams, then would it not be ignorance to not confide them to another lest it come true?”
Then Ceorl looked hard at Hallas and then sighed. “Very well. Let’s go the sons of Folcwine and relay to them your 'vision' and see what they infer from it.”
Then they left the tent after Ceorl told his guard where he was going. They went to the tent of the sons of Folcwine who were settled in the same tent. Ceorl and Hallas identified themselves to the guards, who awakened their charges, then let in the visitors.
The sons of Folcwine asked, “What’s the matter?”
Then Ceorl said, “Hallas has something to say,” and looked at him meaningfully.
Hallas recounted to them his dreams that he had been having for the past few days including the cloaked Figure. When he told them his fear that the ride might prove disastrous, they looked at him with pity. They said “Don’t you think that they…?”
Hallas replied, “Yea. I thought they might be just pre-war dreams, but I did not know for sure. In case something does happen, I do not want to be held responsible. Anyway, I thought they might be something important.”
Fastred asked, “Might we not ask Adrahil or Galdor about this? Might they not know something for are they not learned people of the high-folk of Numenor?”
Folcred laughed again at his brother and said, “Don’t wake up that hapless man in a night before our riding. These dreams must surely be just dreams. They are not messages from any power. You should sleep now. We must ride for more than two-hundred miles after midnight. So just go to bed.”
He then lay down on his bed and closed his eyes. Fastred did the same. Then Hallas and Ceorl left their tent and trudged towards their own.
There, Hallas asked Ceorl, “Do you also think that they are just…dreams?”
Ceorl shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”
Then they both went to their beds.
Hallas could not sleep. Even though he had closed his eyes, he felt strangely rested. He wondered whether the vision was true or not….
This counsel of the sons of Folcwine and Ceorl and Hallas was wise according to their measure. For they knew not about Mandos nor about his great powers. They knew not about Mandos’s neutrality or that the Valar should not meddle with the affairs of the children of Iluvatar due to the wishes of Illuvatar. They did not know that his spouse Vaire spun the webs of the history of Arda. They did not know that after the song of Luthien Tinuviel, the fairest of Immortals and Mortals as she once was, that he vowed albeit silently to punish and thwart whoever had caused misery for Luthien. They did not know that he was trying to do everything within the rules of the Valar to do this, albeit small deeds they might be. They did not know that he knew who was the true emissary who roused the Haradrim.
They did not know about the forthcoming choice one of them had to make. They did not know of the surprise that was waiting for them. They did not understand that Mandos could not tell his prophecies openly to anyone. They did not know that he conveyed messages to many in the history of Arda by sending them in visions or dreams with the help of his brother, Lórien. They did not know that he had done this before to many people down the ages. They did not know that he sent visions to Glorfindel, Turgon, Fingolfin, Malbeth in Arnor, Amnon in Gondolin and even to many of the Valar like Manwe. They did not know about the careful counsel he took in choosing the right messengers and that he had chosen Hallas because he could not send visions to all as he pleased, just one vessal at a time, for he had to be in accord with the greater rules. They did not know that he was advising one of them to make a decision that would later save them. In short, there was much they did not know.
<Folcwine, at this point in his reading was surprised. He had never seen this paragraph before and none of those who had already read it had mentioned this to him. Mystified he read on.>
“Ride now! Ride now! Ride!” shouted Fastred as his brother blew the horn of charge.
The other Charge horns burst into song as the host charged south down the road to meet the thunder of the storm of the Haradrim. Graceful with the skill of their knighthood, they rode down the road in ordered ranks with Hallas, Adrahil, Fastred, Folcred and Ceorl leading the vanguard of the army.
It was the night of the 12thof March in the Shire reckoning. Galdor had set them off towards the Poros after the night's counsel with supplies for more than a week. He had stated that the army of Lamedon would reach the crossings in a few more days. Galdor had also presented to the leaders a set of three horns which each blew a different note to signify retreat or halt or charge. They had acquired nine more guides to take the Rohirrim through the land. Two were sent with each of the leaders of the host. The guide, Gundor, was already with them as an expert on the lands of Ithilien.
They were riding fast. This was the fastest riding of the host during the entire ride from Edoras. They rode at without halting except for rest and sleep, save for the time when they found a small company of Orcs marching. It was quickly destroyed, with small loss, save the few who fled towards the mountains. The host was reaching the Belegond, the rock near the Poros. The strange thing about this was that Emyn Arnen and Belegond were on the opposite sides of the great south road, one in the north and one in the far south, but they each held one of the Three Fortresses…
The host rode for two days and had drawn nigh to the Belegond when they met Galdor, the messenger who was returning from the Crossings of Poros. After he had identified himself with a badge of the Endost, he reported that the Haradrim had not been in sight since the dusk of the 13th of March in the Shire reckoning, and the guard of the Fords was still strong. He stated his hope that if the Rohirrim could take the Fords of Poros and hold it, they would be unbeatable along with the army of Gondor.
The sons of Folcwine accepted the counsel of the scout without taking the counsel of the other leaders. Hallas was highly worried about this but, before he could say anything, Folcred stated to the rest of the leaders that this counsel was wise and just, for the Rohirrim had long guarded the Fords of Isen with many invasions, and they were well-adapted to the plan, and that the Rohirrim were better fighting in the plains than fighting near a rock side fortress, and that they could cause great damage to the Southrons who knew nothing about the Rohirrim and who might not know anything about a cavalry force or how to deal with them. Even Hallas had to agree with this.
But he opposed it because the feeling that the host was going further than intended, to a place they did not know, to fight enemies whom they had encountered before. Hallas was not pleased. Far away, though Hallas knew it not, Mandos also was not pleased, although things were going in an unfortunate but predicted way.
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