Narn I Auros


Second Age 3143, Lairë, Lindon

by Eonwë-(Valar)
01 September, 2022

A cool breeze blew through the field as horses ran to and fro, getting their afternoon exercise. Auros and Farothel perched on the fence, watching Numensul trot about, waiting for Aldawë and Dinmir to join them. A satchel hung on the post next to Farothel, filled with blueberry turnovers and orange-flavored icing. The two had given careful consideration to this treat to ensure both Aldawë and Dinmir would have something to like about it.

A flash in the distance caught Auros' attention, drawing his gaze to some children gathered at the far end of the field against the trees. He shaded his eyes and squinted. "Farothel, stay here. I have to go check on that." He let out a shrill whistle. Numensul responded to his friend's call, trotting up and nuzzling his hand. "Numensul, I don't know what's going on over there, but I have a feeling I won't like it. Will you take me to find out?" Numensul whinnied and nodded, and Auros leapt up onto the horse's back.

"Well if you know you're not going to like it, why go?" Farothel had a worried look as his eyes followed where Auros was facing. "What about Aldawë and Dinmir?"

"Tell them I won't be long. You three can split my share of the turnovers if I'm not back soon. Let's go, Numensul!"

Auros leaned low as Numensul dashed across the field, dodging the other horses frolicking at their leisure. They came to a stop at the edge of a copse of elms, where four boys stood. They were laughing and yelling up into one of the trees before Auros rode up, and when they got quiet upon his arrival, he was certain he didn't like whatever was going on. Of the four, only one was familiar to Auros. "Oi, Tologion. Where's your brother? I don't recall the last time I saw you without him."

Tologion looked as ashamed as Auros had ever seen him. The boy couldn't so much as glance up from the spot on the ground his eyes were boring into. The other boys smothered their laughter behind their hands. Well, two of them did. The third smirked and pointed up into the tree while Tologion kept his focus on the dirt. Something about that third boy didn't sit well with Auros.

Auros looked up into the boughs of the tree, where he saw, well above him, Beldadir sitting on a branch. He wasn't crying, but he did look scared. Auros focused his anger on Tologion. "How could you let him climb so high? You should've known he wasn't ready for it. Go up there and get him!"

Tologion neither moved nor spoke.

Auros grit his teeth. "Fine, I'll do it."

As he took a step towards the tree, the three boys crossed their arms and blocked his way.


The boys didn't budge. The glares they gave Auros challenged him to try and push by.

Undaunted, he glared back at all three, but especially the third, weighing his options. I might be able to push by, but they're obviously looking for a reason to fight. Even if I win, it's too much time and effort spent and I'd still have to help Beldadir with his problem. A problem I shouldn't have to solve. Auros spared a quick glance at Tologion to decide how he measured up. I can't even be sure which side he would take if he roused himself from his self-pity. He's almost as old as me and he can't even muster the fire to either defend his actions or repair his mistake.

Auros grit his teeth and clenched his fists. "Very well." He returned to Numensul. The horse bent down and rose again with Auros on his back. When Auros whispered into his ear, he strutted a few paces, then wheeled around and dashed towards the tree. As they got close, Auros stood on Numensul's back and leapt, grabbing the highest branch he could reach. In spite of his anger, he couldn't hold in a relieved grin as he pulled himself up. The boys below gave him sour glares, except for Tologion, who had something to be ashamed of now: Auros was going up to help his brother.

Auros had little concern for the ire of those still on the ground. He turned his attention upward and found his way through the branches to Beldadir, who was a little younger than Farothel. This boy was sitting higher than Farothel would've dared to climb at his age; higher than Auros would've climbed at his age, if Auros wanted to be honest. He perched himself on a nearby branch. "Aiya Beldadir."

The boy had watched Auros climb up to him. "Aiya Auros!"

"A little high up here, don't you think?" Auros wanted to bury his face in his palms as he drew the boy's attention right back to his predicament. "I mean, you've certainly made whatever point you were trying to make. What was that anyway?"

Beldadir took a deep breath. "Tologion said we were going to go climbing today. Then we met these guys..."

Auros grit his teeth.

"... and they challenged us. Bragolnaur --- "

"Which one is he?"

"He's the bigger one."

The third boy. Auros was nowhere near surprised.

"He said that I should live up to my name."

"And how did he know what your name means?"

"I told him of course." Beldadir's matter-of-fact tone made Auros grin. Beldadir was proud of his name. His and Tologion's father was a loremaster; he'd given careful consideration when naming his sons.

"And then he challenged you, and you climbed --- what is this --- nevermind, don't think about the height. Do you think you might've told him 'no' and saved yourself the trouble? Or better, told him to climb the tree himself?"

"I wanted to climb! It's just, I kept going, and then I realized how high I was, and that's when they started laughing, and then..."

"You were watching which branches you climbed right? You know which ones to climb down?"

Beldadir lowered his eyes.

Of course not. He was too busy being egged on to think about the descent. Auros sat in silence with Beldadir for a few minutes. When he was certain Beldadir was ready, he began to stretch his arms. "Well Beldadir, I think I've got a clear enough picture of the situation, and you're in quite a pickle."

Dismay flashed across Beldadir's face.

"Don't look at me like that. You were brave enough to get yourself up here, you're certainly brave enough to get yourself back down. I'm not going to stay up here all day with you while you make up your mind. I'm going to climb back down now. If you happen to follow me, well I can't stop you from choosing the same branches as me."

Beldadir grinned for the first time since Auros got there.

"Are you ready to go?"


Auros started the climb down, never going faster than Beldadir was able to go. He made sure the other boy kept focused on the climb and didn't miss the proper branches. It was slow going, but they reached the bottom where the others waited. Two of the boys decided to be a nuisance again and blocked their way. Auros remained between them and Beldadir. Beldadir was now under his protection, and Auros was done being polite. "Move, or I'll move you."

Bragolnaur was leaning against another tree, picking at a leaf like he hadn't a care in the world. He gave a dismissive wave to his cohorts. "Let them pass."

Auros kept his eyes on the two boys. "Beldadir, why don't you go pet Numensul. He'll let you."

"Ok Auros!" Beldadir was in a much better mood now that his feet were on the ground.

Once Beldadir had moved clear, Auros wheeled on Tologion. His words came fast but clear. "Do as you please when it's just you, but don't make your brother do that again. You should've known he wasn't ready, and you shouldn't have let him accept the challenge. You're supposed to look out for him. Now take your brother and go."

Tologion finally mustered enough courage to look up from the ground. "You're right ---"

"Don't tell me I'm right!" Auros growled as softly as he could. "Apologize to your brother and take him home! Or somewhere else, I don't care! Just get him away from these three and go buy him a treat for being braver than the four of you put together." Tologion hurried away with Beldadir. Fortunately, Beldadir had already put the ordeal behind him and was waving goodbye to Auros. Auros returned his wave, then focused his ire on the three remaining.

"You two." He pointed at the boys that had stopped him at the tree. "I don't know you. After this, I don't care to. Don't give me a bad reason to change my mind on that." Auros pointed at the third. "You, I'm told your name is Bragolnaur."

"Yes, and you are Auros." Still Bragolnaur picked at the leaf, more interested in it than in the conversation.

"You're awfully calm for someone who was just called a coward."

"I have you outnumbered. I can afford to be."

A sinister grin flashed across Auros' face before he could restrain it. "You're proving my point."

Bragolnaur stopped picking at the leaf.

"You're new around here it seems. So what's your game here? Cow anyone who doesn't fall in line behind you? Not all of us are so inclined."

Bragolnaur sneered as he turned to Auros. "To be cowed or to follow me?"


"Well I'd say that's not my intention anyway. I'm trying to bring us all together, whatever form that takes. Safety in numbers and all that. Someone's got to lead and it might as well be me, but it's better if we can all get along and be friends, isn't it?"

"I don't think we define friendship the same way. You and I aren't going to see eye to eye. What others decide about you is up to them. I think it best for you if we don't cross paths again."

Bragolnaur was clearly unused to the way Auros addressed him. His mood darkened as he pushed away from the tree and crushed the leaf in his hand. "And if I decide we should meet again? What do you think you could do if I decided our paths should cross frequently? If I wished to hound your every step, do you really think there's anything you could do to stop me? To stop us?" As if on cue, the other two boys tried to look menacing. Bragolnaur, only a couple of inches taller than Auros, tried to tower above him.

Auros was unfazed. "Do you really want to take the chance that I can?" Auros's manner was so blunt, almost bored, that the other two boys forgot they were supposed to be the intimidating ones.

Bragolnaur let loose a deep bellowy laugh. "Now I know you have to join me!"

"No." Auros called over Numensul and mounted up.

"I guess we'll see."

"I've given you my answer. We're done here. You do as you will, and I will do as I will. I expect we shall not discuss this again." Auros turned Numensul and set him to a trot. He wanted to make clear he wasn't retreating, he was dismissing them.

Halfway across the field, Auros let out a heavy sigh, glad he didn't have to find out if he could've fought those three troublemakers. When he got back to where he left Farothel, Aldawë and Dinmir had arrived. Whatever they'd been told, what they'd understood was Auros climbed too high into a tall tree on a dare. Dinmir of all people was lecturing him. Aldawë just sat back and watched, by all evidence glad it wasn't him in Auros' place.

Auros put on a big grin as he took a bite of his turnover. "I'm sorry, Dinmir. Someone told me I couldn't climb that tree. I had to prove him wrong." Funnily enough, that didn't help. Perhaps he'd tell the full story later. Right now, this was more entertaining.