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The Lost 10th

Peeping-Tom

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The story of the crew and passengers of a 10th ship, to leave Numenor along with Elendil.

I call it "The Lost 10th"

It comes in 4 chapters, and I'll give you one at a time.

Comments and suggestions are most wellcome...

Chapters :
1) "Where are we?" part 1
2) "Who are we?"
3) "What are we?"
4) "Where are we?" part 2
 

Peeping-Tom

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Chapter 1
"Where are we?"

The wind was howling, to the point of deafening. The crew were unable to communicate with each other...wich wouldn't matter anyhow; The sails were torn to pieces and the rudder broken. Unable to stear, they were at the mercy of Ulmo and Össe. The waves, higher than the highest mountains, relentlessly, forced the vessel ahead at greater and greater speed. The sea spray, over poured the ship to the limit of sinking. Cold, wet, tired and resignedly they tied themself to eachother, the railings or the masts, calling out loud for Manwe, Ulmo and aventually varda, praying for mercy... but they got no respond... the storm just kept going on and on....

Slowly the storm settled into a fair wind, and the sky started to clear up...8 whole days had gone.
The Commander of the vessel looked around...but saw nothing but water, all the way to the horizon...nothing but the sea...

"Where are the others?...", a scared voice asked from the behind.

"It seems, we got seperated in the storm...", the Commander replied with a calm and steady voice.
"...nothing to worry about...we will soon see them again...their ships were larger and stronger than this...if we could stay afloat, for sure my lad, so could they...", he continued.

The Commander was just as scared as the rest of the crew, but he would not dare show it.
"Where are the others?...", he thought for himself, "Elendil and his sons... The whole house of Valandil... The Lords of Andúnië... 9 great ships... Where are you all?...You can not all have perished and left this world for good?... I damn you Ulmo... And you Manwe... For not hearing our cries..."

"Master...Master...", a voice called, "Master, what shall we do? What are your commands?"
"The crew are nervous...they are talking and speculating...We need to keep them occupied, Master", the Captain said.

The Commander spoke out loud :

"Crew, men and women... We are apparently lost at sea... We have no sight of our Lordship, or the rest of the ships... We are alone... This vessel is in sour condition... We have no rudder and no sails... We still have food and water for about a month, but I fear the ship will not hold us afloat for that long... So I ask You...All of You...What shall we do?"

He paused for a brief moment...and the continued...

"We still have our Captain... And we still have our Navigator... We have clear sight of Anor at daytime and Isil and the stars at night... We can still navigate... Sail where ever we want to... North, East, South or back West... But it has to be done with manpower... With the ships oars... Backbreaking hard labor..."

He paused again, before continuing...

"I say we go east... To our friends at Middle-Earth... That is where Elendil were hoping to go... I say Go East, to join our Lordship and our lost friends from the other ships... I am sure, thats where they have gone...I Say Go East... I Wote East...What Say You All?..."

Suddenly, all fear and dismay were gone, and the crew and the passengers all cheered and raised their hands to concur with the Commanders idea.

"Great speech, Commander", the Captain said, "I could not have been so persuasive myself, but I guess, that is why, you are the Commander."

The Commander looked at him, with a hint of a smile and said:
"I could not have ridden those waves myself, but I guess, that is why, you are the Captain."

He then called for the ships Navigator:
"Plot a course eastward, Pilot, and keep an eye on the Captain, and make sure he holds that course...", he said with a smile

"...But, Sir...", the Navigator stammered nervoursly...

"Yes, Pilot...What is the matter?", the Commander asked.

"...Well...I do not know...", he started, then paused...

"You do not know?....What is it, you 'do not know', Pilot", the Commander said, with a more brisk but friendly voice.

"I do not know where we are, Sir", the Navigator finaly said, and continued :
"The storm blew us out of course...I can not say, whether we blew east, west, north or south... or how far...", he paused, took a deep breath and then said :
"Sir, how can one be sure, that east is the shortest way to safety?"

The Commander thought for a moment, sighed, then said :
"One, can not be sure of anything... except that one, and all, are lost... What would you do in such situation, Pilot? Sit still and hope for a rescuer to come to you, while using up all of your supplies and eventually die of hunger, thirst or despair... Or, make a move... try finding rescue yourself...Maybe we will die... But at least, we will die trying... We will still keep hoping, and keep praying... For in the end, it is up to Eru to deside, when it is time to leave... So to answer your question... No, I do not know, if east is a better way than any other way... but east I said... And east I will stick with... Until someone or something gives me a reason, to change direction..."

"On your post, Pilot...on the double... and do not question your Commanders motives!", the Commander yelled, with a big smile, "...I have trouble enough with the Captain doing that...", he said and laughed.

Somehow, the conversation with the Navigator had enlighten him about the whole situation. He now knew, what to do...and to wich extent... and it felt comforting.

Two weeks went by, the crew and the passengers (except the most noble ones) took turns by the oars and the ships carpenter were busy, trying plug the holes and keeping the ship together and afloat. Day after day after day... same routines, same food...same view...water all around... they had not seen any other ship... but at least, the sea was calm and the wind was mild, though the weather did seem to get somewhat colder.

Three weeks went by and the ships supply-in-chief starts to worry, about the water supply, and begins rationating it, and went to the Commander:

"Sir, you told me to give you the one week warning...It is now, I am afraid.", he said
"The water will only last for one more week...with small rations, maybe two weeks...at most. And the food situation are much the same, Sir", he continued.

"Thank you... I am sure, that you, somehow, will make it last... But do not make the rationing to harsh on the brave men at the oars... they will need the energy, to keep going.", the Commander replied.

"Ay ay, Commander... I will do my best... But can make no promises.", the supply-in-chief said in a hard tone and left.

The following evening, the Commander, the Captain and the navigator met for planning.
"The supplies are getting low. No more than two weeks worth. Any chance, we spot land before that?", the Commander asked.

"I can feel, that we are near land, Sir.", the Navigator said,
"The air has a different smell...and I am sure, that I heard a sea-gull, in the distance, today... I would say, that land is less than a week away."

"With the air, I agree...there is something different in the air.", the Captain said,
"But regarding the gull...Well... After long time at sea, one tend to hear and see things, that are not there...But I hope that you are right."

"When you say a week away, Pilot... Is that for us... or for a ship with sails?... We are a slow moving vessel, you know....But I hope, you both are right...that we see land within a week or so... Our crew and passengers are counting on us.", the Commander said.

Another two weeks went by...without rescue in sight...
The supplies were all gone...
They used the masts and every useful piece of wood to keep the pots and pans going...boiling salt away from seawater, condencing the steam, to get some drinking water.
Eating nothing but the fish they could catch...and from time to time some sea-weed drifting by.... The situation were getting desperate... When finally, the cry came...

LAND O'HOY...
 
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Peeping-Tom

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Chapter 2
"Who are we?"

____________________________________________________________________________________
Armenelos, Royal Courthouse, January 3316

For the Lord of Andúnië.

Your Lordship are hereby summoned for talks, regarding His Majesty, Ar-Pharazôn's,
intended use of the standing Fleet of Andúnië.

Your Lordship are expected, before the end of February.

Yours cincerely
Royal Advisor & Kings Counselor S.
____________________________________________________________________________________


Amandil looked at the letter, he'd just recieved.

"Look...",he said to his Fleet-Commander,
"He has already removed my royal title, and put it in, as his own... Why doesn't he just take the whole of Andúnië, and sign his letters with Lord S. instead?"

"...And 'talks' about my Fleet?... The King has already seized the lot, what's there to talk about?... No, I tell you, he wants me arrested... Me and my family.", Amandil said and paused for a moment.

"How many loyal Commanders and Captains can we count on?", he then asked the Commander.

"Do my Lord still want to proceed with his plans?", the Commander asked Amandil.

"No, I do not want to... But I have to!", Amandil replied with a sigh,

"My father told me stories of old times, of how the dark forces works and thinks... how it can manipulate and speak the untruth, without anyone notice... Our King has been spell-trapped by this darkness... his new Counselor... Whom before, were everybodys enemy... but now has stolen most of the Edain-heirs harts and minds. What have we become?... Who are we?... I sometimes wonder, if there is any red Edain-blood left in all of Númenor... It seems like it has all gone black!", he said.

"Not all, my Lord...", the Commander replied,
"I count thousands of proud Edains-heirs filled with red blood. The Lords of the West, once gave Elenna to our forefathers... and thus the stars have faded, we still call it so... And do we not, still praise them?... Once, our beaches and harbours were filled with the white swann-ships of the Elder, but now, we only see the dark waves, when we look towards west... but, do we not still remember and treasure them?"
"No, my Lord... We are not just some Edain-heirs... We are the Edain... In our harts and in our souls... And You are our Leader, in these dreadful times."

Amandil looked his Commander right into the eyes and said...

"My fate was desided a long time ago... I'm not the leader of the Edain... I can not lead a host against my King... against the darkness...", he said,
"...I can not let the last faithful leave Arda in that manner... There may not be spilled any blood... There has been enough kin-slaying on this island."

He turned around and looked out the window, touching the ring on his finger - Barahir's Ring...

"Our family is in direct line, decenders of Eärendil the Mariner... I have to try...", he said quietly,
"...I have to try to do, what he did... They have to know... They have to be warned... That is what I have to do. My mind is set..."

The Commander did not hesitate, in his reply...

"Then, Your Lordship is going to need a crew to command... Let me take off my markings and be your Captain, my Lord...", he said and paused for a moment, to make sure that Amandil was paying attention...
"...A ship can not have two commanders... and I can not... and will not, let your Lordship take such a risk, on his own... I mean...", he stopped, afraid that he had gone too far with his words...

Amandil turned and looked at his Commander, smiled, raised his arms and started walking towards the Commander...

"Do you remember, when we were children?...", Amandil startet, avoiding futher words from his Commander.
He put his hands on the Commanders shoulders and continued...

"Do you remember when you taught me to swimm?... You were always at my side, and even rescued me from drowning at one point...",
"Do you remember when we fooled around the quarry, despite orders of not to... and I fell and hurt my leg badly?... Who was it, that carried me, all the way home, on his shoulders... and made sure that my dad were never told?...",
"...and all the times, I did wrong?... who was it, that always took the blame?...",
"My friend... You have always stood by my side... And I regard you... and love you as a brother... and I would be hounered to have you by my side, one last time, my friend...", he said and looked right into his Commanders eyes, before continuing...

"...but who was it, that taught me to read the stars, trim the sails and tame the waves around this island?... Do you not believe, that your Apprentice is capable of riding the waves and finding his ways around the seas on his own?... even to the West?... No, my friend... my brother... Fleet-Commander of Andunië... I need you here... I need you to teach many others, like you teached me... They will be needed... You will be needed...",

Amandil paused a brief moment and almost whispered...
"...If I do not succeed...", he stopped himself in the middle of that thought, let go of his Commanders shoulders and started to walk back to the window.

The brotherly moment was over, Lord Amandil was back and his voice again, loud and strong...
"...but we can not set sail, just yet... And you never answered my first question, Fleet-Commander."

"I'm so sorry, my Lord... The Lordship have 5 loyal Captains and 3 loyal Commanders, not including myself, to his disposal... And experienced crews for 7 ships... But we have no ships, my Lord.", the Commander answered.

Amandil smiled...

"But we have ships, Commander... The moment the Darkness were set free on Elenna, I foresaw this situation, and acted upon.", he said,
"A secret habour and a secret fleet are beeing build nearby... Almaida, is its name... In the Bay of Andunië, South-west of here."
"Go check it out for yourself... Eleven great ships... Some of them ready to set sail."
"We need crew for all the ships... And they must be moved to Rómenna, in absolutely secrecy...execpt one."

"I will, of course, do as ordered, my Lord...", the Commander said, he walked to the window and stood beside Amandil.
"My lord... We do not know about this islands situation, at the time of your return... You might need me by your side, at that time.", he said.

Amandil looked at him and replied...

"I know you do not approve of my idea and my means of action, my friend... I know, you would rather fight and die, than leave this Númenórë for good... But the darkness is too grand, and the light of the Lords of the West, do not shine opon us for strenght any more... I can not take that chance, and neither will you... I believe that Elenna is already lost, regardless of the outcome of Ar-Pharazôn's... or should I say, Saurons... foolish quest. We can only hope for salvation of the faithful, by moving far enough towards East for the Western-Lords to see that we mean no harm... If I succeed, we might get the Land of Gifts back, and everything will again be, as it once were... But I need you, to make sure that every faithful soul, are off this island before our King makes his move..."

"I will, as said, follow orders... But I will remain and await my master's return...", the Commander said.

"And I will be glad to see you, my friend, if I return... But do not count of it... You know the legends... No one ever returns...", Amandil replied.

He became sad and still...

"My son have to be told... We do not have long time... A couple of years, maybe.", he said

He then stood silently, looking toward west...in his own thoughts,

"Do they see us as Elwing and Eärendils children?...",
"Do they see us as Edain?...",
"...Or is it too late?...".
"Who are we?..."
 
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Peeping-Tom

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Chapter 3
"What are we?"



Romenna 3319


"Master, we have to leave now. The house of Elendil have already set sail.", Captain Harafur tried to talk some sence into his Commanders head.

"If we don't set sail now, we will never be able to leave. Ar-Parahzôn's troops are marching towards the harbour as we speak.",
"We will be captured, and executed as traitors if they can reach us...",
"Commander, we have 150 souls of men, women and children, in our care... Do you really want to jeopardize them? Do you not care?", he continued.


The Commander sat quietly on his chair, pretending not to hear... but he did hear... and of course, he did care.


"But, I made a promise... I swor an oath...", the Commander startet, before beeing cut off by his Captain.

"It's been three years now. You have fulfilled your promise and kept your oath... You have waited longer than he would have expected you to.",

"He has reach his goal, spoken his words before the Lords of the West, and they have kept him as one of their own. If not, for sure, he would have returned a long time ago."

The Commander looked at Harafur, with sharp, almost piercing eyes. He was angry... mostly at himself, but now his Captain had provoked him...

"Who are you, to question my care for my crew and passengers? A Captain, will obey his Commander! A Commander will follow his Master in death... and so will his Captain, if needed!"

Captain Harafur could not restrain himself, and almost shouted his reply back.

"But your Master is sailing towards East as we speak. Elendil is the head of the house now, not Lord Amandil! He specificly gave you an order!",

Harafur calmed himself somewhat down, and continued...

"Commander, I have not known, or served you as long as you have with Lord Amandil... But I will speak, direct and harsh, when needed... and now, is such a time."
"My master and Commander... You have the highest rank, of the faithfuls left on Númenor. You can, of course, do as you please, but we need you... The house of Elendil needs you! I will, if needed, take charge myself, command the ship and set sail...".

The Commander raised from the chair, walked slowly towards his Captain and layed a hand on his shoulder.

"Harafur, my Captain... my friend. I chose you as my Captain, not just for you skills but just as much for the courage of your tongue...",
"I know my orders... But I should have been with Lord Amandil... I should have been the Captain on his ship... I should have been standing by his side, aiding, guiding and helping him, in whatever way I could. That was the plan... But instead, he chose a lesser experienced Captain, and left in secrecy, in the middle of the night... leaving behind a note with orders for his Commander.", he said and looked out of the window towards the harbor,

"I'm not sure that, what Elendil is doing, is the best. I hoped for Lord Amandil's return, to convince him to stay and fight. What have we become? Fleeing like sheeps for the wolf. What are we? Cowards? Ar-Pharazôn has left his seat, with all his troops, and is now residing, on the sea, on the west side of Númenor. He left the whole island in the hands of Sauron, whom we used to call our enemy. I say, we can overpower him, throw him back down into the dungeons, and take control ourself...make this almost forsaken island, into the Land of Gifts again. What have we become? What are we?"

->->continued->->->
 

Peeping-Tom

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Chapter 3
"What are we?" ...continued...


The Commander read the last letter, and orders, from Amandil again. Hoping that, somehow, the words would have changed...

_____________________________________________________

Andunië April 3316

Dear Friend, do not think too harsh of me.

This journey... this mission of mine, I have to do without you by my side.

I know, you would have done anything... gone to any extreme, too join me in this... my distined voyage.

But this time, I will have to manage without you, my trustet and beloved Brother in heart, to aid, guide and protect me.

This fate, has always been mine... Your fate, takes another road.

You know about my dreams... the dreams with the eagles... The Eagle's of the West King-Lord, talking to me...
...well, my friend, the stories they told, were not all about me. Some was about my son and grandsons... and some was about you!

I only told you about, some of the dreams, regarding my family and myself... never has I told about my dream-visions regarding you. That is until now...

You already know about my journey, and why I believe it nessessary to be done.

In case of Ar-Pharazôn making his own, and false I may add, visions come true... and in case of failure, by my side, I have, by now, informed my son of my decision and given my instructions, regarding the gathering of the faithfuls and leaving Númenor towards the east.

By this time, I reckon that we have about two years, to fulfill our tasks, before Ar-Pharazôn has gathered enough strength, for him to dare the unspeakable.

If you, by then, have not heard from me or have been given any signs of my success, I urge you... no I beg you, to follow my instructions, to the very letter.

You may call them orders, if that makes you feel better, my friend...

My dreams :

I see you, on a ship, leaving an empty harbor, crying...
I see you, on a lonely ship riding the stormy waves, dancing and singing with the crew...
I see you, on a mountain, saving my son, by warning him of danger...
I see you, smiling and laughing, opun meeting me again...

My friend, here are my instructions for you...

1) You shall leave Númenor, and sail to the east, as the last ship to leave Romenna! Meaning, that you have to be sure no faithful is left behind.

2) You shall keep faith, hope and a good mood even when you seems to be alone, and in desperat situations! Meaning, your counsel, guidance and behaviour will make a difference.

3) You shall reach land and guide the rest of the faithfuls to safety! Meaning, You will be the reason, why the faithfuls reach the shores in the east.

4) Have faith, and keep it, my friend... We shall meet again!


I have selected three trustet boatsmen, to aid me on the ship... and have, by the time of your reading this, already set sail.
I have passed my Point-Of-No-Return, and shall, by the mercy of Eru, fulfill my destiny!
I trust you, my friend, in the fulfilling of yours as well, by believing in, and following of, my words.

One last order from your Lord :

I leave, in your care, the symbols of the Lord of Andunië, and the heritage of Silmariën, the Staff and the Ring!

To protect my family, and the faithfuls, I will keep the title as Lord of Andunië. That shall stand, until the day of departure of my son, where he shall be given the artifacts of Andunië but not claim the title!

With a pray to Eru, Ulmo and Ossë, for a safe journey, I bid you a Farewell...

Yours truely...

Lord of Andunië, Friend and brother!
_____________________________________________________


He still did not believe in the words of Amandil, how could he?... How could his Lord believe in thoughts, act upon and give orders based on dreams?

The moment of decision had come for Lord Amandil's Fleet-Commander. His own Point-Of-No-Return...
In the distant, you could hear the horns of the remaining land-troops of Ar-Pharazôn, under the command of his Counselor, Sauron.

The Commander had followed the last order in the letter. The artifacts of Andunië, had been given to Elendil... and Elendil and his sons had already set sails.

"Commander, we have to leave... right now!", Captain Harafur shoutet his words out.

The Commander did not seem to listen... Inside he was fighting his own mental battle!

"If I Stand Ground... If I fight back, I could show them that we are no cowards... I will not leave my land, my city, my house, all that I, my family and my familys ancestors have build, fought for and died for, without a fight! It might even be that, if I stay, others may join...", he thought for himself.

"The Captain is right... The Lord of Andunië is no more... He's not comming back. Elendil did not take the title... there's no Lord anymore. I serve the Lord of Andunië, but if there's no Lord... then who do I serve? If I leave, I'm obliged to serve Amandil's son... As long as I stay, I'm the highest rank... Am I in fact not Acting Lord of Andunië? If not I, then who should make a stand?"

The thoughts haunted him... when suddenly, to the sounds of the marching troops outside, he had a vision of his own...

He saw the birth of a boy, the same boy growing up, the boy becomming a man and then he saw the man die and perrish into oblivion!

Then he saw the same vision again... but this time, he also saw himself standing by the side of the boy, beside of the youth, besides the man and then he saw that mans son beeing born, and that boy growing up, becomming a man, becomming a father... and so on, and so on... for atleast 10 cycles, before that vision ended and another one started...

The last vision only lastet for a brief moment, but had the deepest impact... He saw Amandil... on a shiny white beach, waving to him... and besides him, a man-sized eagle...

He instantly knew the meaning of the visions... his doubts were all gone...

With the tears running down, he knew that the first boy, in the two first visions, was Elendil, and that only with his own presence, would the family-line of Valandil continue. And that the last vision, showed him the truth about Amandil... Not only was Amandils visions, and therefore his words, true, but that they were comming from, not the Lord of Andunië, but a betrustet and beloved friend and brother in heart and mind... and that he had found the wind of the great eagles and the way of Eärendil.

The Commander then realized, that he was all alone... His Captain had already boarded the ship and was on the verge of setting sails.
As fast as his feet could move, he ran to the harbor... the ship could not leave without him... it just couldn't... that would now be unbearable.

Just minuts before Sauron would have reached the Harbor and only seconds before the ship had left the pier, the Commander got there...

Almost out of breath, he called to the Captain...

"Permission for a fool of a Commander to enter the ship?", he shoutet as loud as he could, but startet to run up the gangway before he got any answer...

"Yeahh, you run you piece of...", the words faded in the wind, but were made perfectly clear by the gestures of the first soldiers that reached the harbor.
"Sail away, you cowards... you disbelievers... and don't come back... we'll be waiting for you, if you do...", they continued.

"Wellcome onboard, Commander, I'm glad that you change your mind...", Captain Harafur said.
"...Fool or no fool, we sure hoped that you would join us... something tells me, that you will be much needed on this voyage. What did change your mind, if I may ask?" he continued.

The ship left the pier and started its way out of the harbor and into the east...

The Commander stood and watched the empty harbor... with the tears running down, he realized that the first written vision of Amandils had come true...

"Lord Amandil did...", he answered, without any further explanations.

"I now know what we are...", he thought for himself,

"We are no cowards... No... We are the heirs of the last faithful Edain... We are the continuing of a long line of proud, powerfull and renowned men... We are the beginning of the new future!"

The tears startet running again...

"Praised be Eru... praised be all the West-Lords... and praised be you, Amandil, my friend and brother... my Lord... I'm so sorry for doubting you...", he shoutet in the wind.

"I now know what we are...."
 

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