Rite Of Spring: 1. Rite of Spring

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1. Rite of Spring

A cold wind blew across the bay, but Arnthorr did not feel it, bundled up in skins as he was. Even if he had, he would not have admitted it- not in front of the boys, at least. It wouldn't have been right.

The wind howling in his ears as he stared out across the Ice Bay, he clutched his staff tight as he remembered that night long ago when he had first conducted this ritual...

*

His voice straining to be heard over the howling wind, Arnthorr the priest recited the words as he had been taught by Thiazi, his mentor and predecessor. One slip of the tongue and WInter would last another month, he remembered, one mis-pronounced syllable and his would be the blame.

His lips were numb, his beard rimed with frost, but still he carried on.

He had to.

*

Tears ran down the old man's cheeks as he uttered the chant to banish Winter and bring in the Spring. Had any of the boys dared to ask the old priest why, he would have told them it was the hail stinging his eyes.

It would have been a lie.

*

Arnthorr's gaze shifted as he chanted, and with horror he saw that there was a ship out there- the great Elf-ship that had been sent to the Southlander king. Why had the man not listened to his warnings? Why had he not waited a day more? Why could he have not-

His tongue slipped unwittingly, his concentration lost.

*

The old priest would not mis-speak the words this time.

He would not.

*

Arnthorr continued the chant as swiftly as he had made his mistake, but it was hopeless. Even now he felt the anger of the spring-spirits, even now he felt them desert him.

Even now, he heard the cackling of the Talvi-Noita in his ears, even above the storm.

He had failed.

Winter would continue, and the storm would worsen, and the Southlander king and all his men were doomed.

*

Arnthorr opened his eyes, and there it was on the horizon- the Sun. Small and weak and pale, it might have been, but it was there.

The Talvi-Noita had been repelled once more, and Winter would soon be over.

The boys cheered, but there was no joy for Arnthorr.

Ever since the death of the Southlander king all those years ago, there had never been joy.

He wondered if there ever would be...


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Aruthir

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/23/13

Original Post: 03/23/13

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Comments

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Rite Of Spring

curiouswombat - 24 Mar 13 - 8:37 AM

Ch. 1: Rite of Spring

That is fascinating.  I love it when I read something that makes me think about something in a different light.


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