0.4 Prologue: The Horse, The Rider and The White Tree



I remembered well the stories that my mother once told me. One of them being really a fresh one. She told me about two young men of The House Herendar. That family was once one of the Thane families of Rohan. Head of their house, Linardir The Mad once held a huge city called Hytbold. It was a really good-flowing city as both traders and crafters found their heaven here. Same goes for the men from each part of Rohan. And they lived peacefully in there until the great battle of Hytbold before which Linardir's wife was moved to safety in Edoras. Some months after the battle - which ended in total destruction of Hytbold which got burnt down and Linardir was believed dead as they never found his body, the heirs of House Herendar were born in Edoras. First, Linhod who became the next head of the house and then two years ago Linwir. Anyway mother of the two never told them about their claim on Hytbold as she wanted the family to move on and forget about the painful past. Hytbold was left for good and they never returned there. Instead, Linhod and Linwir have completed the basic military training in Rohan and joined the riders at the age of 20 and 18 years old. They served in Edoras for some time before requesting to be moved off from duty. They then left Rohan and settled down in a small room in The Splintered Shield in Minas Tirith until they were again forced to find a job. Both brothers joined the Gondorian Army and were trained by Head of The House Thanduil, which was my father. That's how they were connected to the case - but we never got to know them. In fact, the only person that knew them was our mother. She met their mother Amwen of House Herendar and the young boys in Edoras two years after they first moved there and got asked by their mother to record their family story and so she did.  After she was gone, we never heard of any member of House Herendar ever again. That is until we summoned all who wished to help. 

Linhod was on duty in Third Circle at that time. When Araithil put a poster there he was the first one who approached it and kept staring at it for a long while. It made my brother curious and then he looked closely at the man. He was a medium height man with well-kept blonde hair. His eyes were bright blue and his skin pale. He was wearing regular gondorian footman armour and a black cloak. He was so silent and focused on the poster. Araithil had the feeling that he may know something. "Wish to help? Know anything?" - My brother then asked and the man jumped slightly at the sound of the voice. "I- No... no.... I don't know anything. It's just the name... I heard it.." - He answered. Araithil nodded and then turned from the poster to face the man. "Gwathrian Thanduil was a well-known and renowned scholar here in The White City.." - He answered and then found out that the man was speaking with a different accent. He stayed silent about it though. The man glanced at him. "Why are you searching for her? Was she your friend?" - He kept asking him. Araithil shook his head. "Gwathrian... She was my mother." - Araithil then answered and the man's mouth fell agape. He remained silent for a while before speaking. "We...we will help you..." - He said breaking the long silence. "We? Who are you, Sir?" - Araithil asked and raised a brow at the stranger. The man extended a hand to him. "I am Linhod Herendar of Rohan, Sir." - Linhod then introduced himself and Araithil nodded shaking his hand. "Araithil Thanduil, son of Gwathrian" - He then answered - "Very well, if you wish to help, meet us at the spot and time that is on that poster." - He finished his speaking and walked away then. Linhod waited until the end of his shift then went quickly to the barracks to find his brother, Linwir. He looked similar to his older brother but he had short blonde hair instead of long and mainly appeared emotionless, unless he really trusted someone. "Linwir... you won't believe.." - Linhod then said approaching him. Linwir raised a brow at him awaiting whatever he was about to say. "Gwathrian Thanduil.. she is missing." - The older brother then said with a solemn tone. Linwir's face brightened a bit. "You found her again... after all these years..." - Linwir then said amazed. Linhod shook his head. "I just met her son... we need to help him..." - He then answered and showed the poster to Linwir. The brothers then managed to get off duty for a time, somehow. They hoped it won't make them lose their job again but they also knew what needs to be done. Soon, they left the city for the meeting.