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Author: Pearl Took
Title: Entmoot
Theme: a different Point Of View
Elements: Green, a Dozen, Triangle
Author's Notes:Rated G
Summary: The Ents have some thinking to do. Will they help the rest of the free peoples of Middle-earth?
Word Count: 4,150





August Challenge: different POV and these elements: Green, a Dozen, Triangle


With deep apologies to those who use the Elvish languages and understand them, I needed to create names for some Ents. I used two English-Elvish online dictionaries, one of which seems to have no home page. The one with no home page is at this URL:
http://home.netcom.com/~heensle/lang/elvish/sindarin/engsind.html
The other is at Arwen Undomiel.com

Raenbrethil raen = crooked & brethil = birch = Crookedbirch
Cadwaranc cadwar = shapely & limb (arm) = ranc = Shapelylimbs
Celevonriv celevon = silver (of) & skin = riv = Silverskin
Fordoron forod = north & doron = oak = Northoak
Gadorost gado = catch & rost = rain = Raincatcher

*****************************************************************************



Entmoot


We had withdrawn deep into the woods, fleeing the rape of our realm. Fleeing the felling, the burning; seeking to hide where the forest was still green. Hiding amongst the birches of the high foothills on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains.

At least, that is where those few of us who remained now dwelt, having followed Fladrif, the head of our folk.

There was nothing for us any longer on the western flanks of the mountains and foothills that formed the eastern side of Angrenost. It was now called Nan Curunir - the Valley of Saruman. For long, long ages those hills had been our home and the pastures of our herds. For the long, long ages of the Elves. For the long ages of the Dunedain. For the years of the Rohirrim. For most of the speck of time that have been the years of the Tower of Orthanc being the home of the Wizard whose name the vale now bears.

My home was now the furthest down the mountains on the eastern face of the Misty Mountains, for I still craved news of our other kin and of the wide world.

And one day word came to me. The eldest of us all was bidding us come. Come to Derndingle! Come to Entmoot!

“I will not go,” Fladrif gravely intoned when I told him I had heard from Fangorn. His eyes flamed with his anger. “I have had enough of what the world has become! We trusted. We were betrayed! I will not look again upon the scorched, barren earth that was our home. I will not look again upon the cut and burned bodies of our folk nor upon the hacked stumps that are the remains of our tree-herds.”

He paused, restraining himself in the manner of our kind. Finally he spoke again.

“Hom, Hrum. You may go if wish to, Raenbrethil. You and any other of our folk who wish to be part of such folly. I will not go near any of the other beings of Middle-earth again. No!” he said firmly, holding up a hand to stop the words before they passed my lips. “No! I will see none of them, not even the Elves. But most particularly I will never again look upon the Nan Curunir!”

With that Fladrif turned his back to me and raised his hands up to cover his face.

There were only three of us who answered Fangorn’s call. Cadwaranc, Celevonrif, and myself, Raenbrethil; one fourth of the dozen who remained of Fladrif’s kin. Together we strode to Derndingle.

“What do you think we shall hear, Raenbrethil?” Cadwaranc asked me.

“Hm. I am not sure, cousin. I only know there has been a change in the feel of the forest which began yesterday, as though there is a ray of sunshine piercing the clouds that have been thickening over us.”

“I am sure you are right, living nearer to the lower forest as you do. I have felt no such changes,” he sighed sadly. “I have felt only the heaviness of evil creeping like a foul fog over the crest of the foothills from the NanCurunir.”

“Nor have I,” added Celevonrif. “but then, I live near to the tree line and it was only chance, if chance one may call it, that brought me down to speak with Fladrif yesterday and I was about to leave him when you arrived with your news of Fangorn’s summons, Raenbrethil.”

“Well, my cousins,” I replied, “we soon will know how many of us have answered the summons and what will be the subject of the Moot.”

We made our way in silence after that; listening as we strode deeper into the great woods. Soon we could feel the tension in the ground below us, in the air about us, and in the increasing whispers of the tree herds all around us. Eventually, a great call came to us, far away and dim to the ear yet filled with forceful urgency. We rolled our fingers and set them to our mouths, trumpeting our replies. Fangorn would know that a few of Fladrif’s folk had heeded his call. We heard the calls of others of our kin as well. We were not the only ones coming to hear the news.

So we strode onward, being called and calling in return until there was no longer need for us to call through our tubed hands in order to be heard. We were eventually joined by eight others before Derndingle appeared before us, its high, thick hedge shielding from view any who were within it. We made our way through the western gap in the hedge and down into the dingle itself.

Several of us had already arrived, including Fangorn I noticed. We seemed to be the last to arrive.

“So many of us!” Celevonrif breathed out in amazement.

Cadwaranc and I nodded.

“More than I . . .”

I stopped in mid sentence, in mid thought, in mid stride.

“Yrch!” I hissed. “Burarum!” I added in Entish.*

Whatever was Fangorn doing with two of the foul creatures sitting upon his shoulders? I intended to storm up to him, to fling the question into his face. I took a step, but felt a restraining hand upon my arm.

“Be not hasty, Raenbrethil,” Cadwaranc whispered close to my right ear. “I think they are not Burarum. Their faces are fair and I cannot imagine Fangorn would suffer any of that evil race to live in his presence.”

I took a deep breath to calm myself as I patted my cousin’s hand before he let it fall from my arm. Only Burarum cause me to act in such a hasty manner. Yet, my thoughts were that the old Ent had a great deal to explain to us. I turned my eyes upon the others gathered there, nearly fifty in number, and saw anger like my own in other eyes.

“Hrum, Hom. I welcome you all to Entmoot,” Fangorn began. “I am greatly pleased that so many of us are here, for a matter of great importance has arisen and it is not for any one of us to determine which course we will follow.”

He paused and a few of us spoke up.

“This had best be of great importance, Fangorn. You have called us from our own herds.”

“Exactly! Maybe some of us have no need to attend to their own business, but I rarely leave my part of the forest.”

Others voiced different concerns.

“The axe wielding Burarum of Saruman could take this moment to attack. I cannot afford to leave my trees for long.”

“Yes. There is ever present danger surrounding us in these evil times.”

“We must protect our own, Fangorn.”

“I am aware, my friends,” the eldest of us responded in calm, steady tones. “Unlike most of you I walk abroad in what remains of our forest. Unlike most of you I walk the edges of the wood. Unlike most of you I am somewhat aware of what is happening in the world beyond our realm.”

He had our attention for we knew his claims to be true. We let Fangorn proceed as we murmured our interest in his words after the ways of our people.

“I know you have noticed the beings I carry with me,” Fangorn said as we muttered and murmured in quiet undertones.

(“Yes, yes!” “Strange creatures.” “I’ve never seen the like.” Many voices were merely uttering the words, “Yrch!” and “Burarum!”)

“I introduce to you two representatives of a people we have not before known . . .”

(“Hoom. Hom!” “Not known before?” “They must be Burarum!” “All that is is in the lists, and the lists we have know for many ages.” “Yrch!”)

“They call their kind ‘Hobbits’.”

The word sounded strange to our ears.

(“Not a proper name! It is not Elvish.” “Can there be any new creatures?” “ ‘They call’ . . . They have named themselves?” And still the murmurs of, “Yrch!” and “Burarum!”)

“Hm. Hrom! You must not be hasty, my friends. They are not Burarum, so set your minds at ease.”

There was still a great deal of suspicious muttering from our number, including comments of my own.

“I have spoken to them at great length. These two are known by the names of Peregrin Took but he is also called Pippin.” Fangorn gestured toward the small person on his left shoulder. “And this is Meriadoc Brandybuck who is called Merry,” he said indicating the other one who sat on his right shoulder. “They are a hasty but gentle folk who come from the West and the North, love the land, and care about all growing things. They suggested we add them to the lists after Men. ‘Half-grown hobbits, the hole dwellers.’”

There was now much rumbling and mumbling. It was not a light matter to add to the lists. Several of us, myself and my kin amongst them, stepped closer to Fangorn to look more closely at the small ones still seated on his shoulders.

“Yes!” old Fordoron said loudly. “I say yes. They do not seem to be Burarum. They appear to be much like small Elflings. There is a pleasantness in their countenances.”

Many were chanting the section of the lists which dealt with the free peoples to see how well the suggested new line would fit.

It was young Gadorost who spoke up next, saying, “The new line for the lists fits well.”

After allowing for a thorough discussion, Fangorn raised his voice above the clamor. “What does the Moot decide upon the issue of whether or not these creatures are Burarum, Yrch in the Elvish tongue?”

We all said, “They are not Burarum.”

“What does the Moot decide about them being Hobbits, as they declare themselves to be?”

“They are Hobbits.”

“And shall they be added to the list of the free peoples following Men?”

“They shall be added to the list of the free peoples following Men.”

One of the hobbits yawned. It had been nearly two hours as Men reckon the passage of time since we had begun our discussion of the Hobbits. The Eldest had said they are hasty folk. Fangorn spoke to them in Westron, a language I recognize the sound of but do not speak or understand more than a few words. Indeed, few of us Ents know the tongue. He then set them down and they bowed low to the Moot before walking away on the path that went towards the gap on the West side of Derndingle. Many of us chuckled lightly at this feat of flexibility as it had long since been beyond their ability. Only a few of the youngest amongst us could still bend much.

“The Hobbits told me much interesting news,” Fangorn began as they walked away. “We have a great deal to discuss, and then, depending upon what decisions we make, we might have a great deal to plan. Let us begin with the tale told to me by the Hobbits.”

The Eldest related an amazing tale of a journey undertaken by the little ones, by Merry and Pippin, and others leaving from Imladris of Elrond Half Elven and making their way slowly eastward. They had told him of a strange blizzard upon Caradhras, and entering into of the Mines of Moria. He said that Mithrandir had fallen along with a Balrog in the mines and that afterwards the little ones, the Hobbits, and the others had been allowed into Laurelindorenan and into Caras Galadhon itself!

What a stir that caused amongst us! Fangorn had to pause as we expressed our wonder. Few were allowed to even cross that land’s borders and it was nearly unheard of that any were allowed into the heart of the realm. What were these small beings that the Lady Galadriel and her Lord granted them entrance there? I had no time to consider the matter further as Fangorn continued his telling of the Hobbits’ tale.

They had left Laurelindorenan, going in watercraft upon the Anduin. At a place called Parth Galen they were attacked by Burarum.

Once more he was interrupted by the rising pitch of muttered comments voice by the nearly fifty Ents who surrounded him.

“Yrch!” “Foul creatures!” “We should kill all the Burarum!” “We should not be hasty!” “Are they not living beings?” “Evil! They are naught but evil!”

Fangorn let us go for a while before raising his voice above the clamor.


“My Ents! Quiet now. There is more to be told.”

More indeed! The small ones had been captured by those foul creatures. They had been cruelly treated and made to run nearly the entire length of Calenardhon, what I have heard called Rohan in Westron, to the very edge of our forest.

“But they managed to escape those foul Burarum and flee into our woods. It was there, upon the a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lind-or-burume * where I stand to look out upon the wide world in the early mornings, that I met them. They were talking and their voices sounded full of light and joy. As I told them, I would have stepped upon them and squished them, taking them for small Burarum, had I not heard their voices.”

(“Understandable.” “I would have done the same.” “Hoom. I would like to hear them for myself.” Came our comments)

“You believe their tale?” I asked

“I do,” Fangorn replied. “They had no need to lie. They are rather open people, and most hasty. Although . . .” He paused, muttering under his breath to himself in our language for a few moments. “I do think the two of them have practiced some restraint. I do not feel they have told me everything about themselves or their journey.”

He stopped and stood stiff and alert, gazing off into the distance.

We stood murmuring and whispering amongst ourselves, until Fordoron raised the question that troubled us all.

“Fangorn. This is a strange and sad tale you tell us, and I think that most of us feel sorrow and anger at these small people having suffered at the hands of the Burarum. Yet the question begs answering: What does it have to do with us?”

There was much muttering of approval.

The Eldest did not look at us, choosing instead to keep his gaze fixed on things unseen.

“Why were they brought this direction?” he asked so quietly that some did not hear him. He posed the question again. “Why did the Burarum bring them west and not take them east to the Dark Land, which was closer to the place they were captured?”

“Why indeed?” Murmured Cadwaranc who still stood upon my right.

“They were Uruk Hai! They bore the White Hand!”

We all turned to the voice that had rung out like a bell. No whispering nor muttering for Bregalad, who is one of the youngest of us.

“They obey Saruman!” he called out again. “They are the tree killers!”

We had all turned to stare at Bregalad, and now turned as one back to Fangorn.

“Yes. Yes, my friends and kin. They are the servants of Saruman not Sauron. The source of this trouble is on our own doorstep. He and his Burarum are something that has concerned us all and we have done nothing.” He sighed deeply, great pain shadowing his eyes. “We have done nothing and now others are suffering because of our inaction.”

He slowly looked around him, taking the time to look long into the eyes of each one of us.

“We have to decide what we are going to do about the evil on our doorstep.”

Every Ent there had something to say and we all said it at once. For a long while all fifty of us talked, then Fangorn announced we would take a short recess.

“When we come back I shall start at the beginning of the troubles, for there are those amongst us who dwell at the far end of the forest from Saruman and have not been hurt by him and his Burarum as badly as others of us have been. You may get drinks and I encourage you to continue discussing this matter. Listen for my call and then return to the Moot.”

I had not yet moved away when Bregalad approached Fangorn.

“I have no need for further thought, Eldest.” the young Ent stated firmly. “I know what our choices are and I know what I wish to see us do.”

I resisted the urge to laugh. It was not for naught that his nickname reflected his ever-present hastiness. Fangorn looked at him solemnly, but I could see the smile in his eyes.

“Hoom, Hm, young Bregalad! But there are others who still need convincing.” Fagnorn raised his hand to stave off Bregalad’s reply. “Your vote is duly noted, my friend. I will not make you remain at the Moot, yet I would ask of you a favor.”

“Of course.”

“Come with me. You shall now leave, for a time, your task of Tree-herder and become instead a Hobbit-herder. My small friends will have need of company and a place to rest this night and other nights that may come and go before our decision is reached.”

It was a good choice, I thought, as I walked off to get a long, cool drink at the fountain and Fagorn and Bregalad walked off to find the Hobbits. A hasty Ent to be companion to two hasty little beings, that and he spoke Westron. I shook my head with the wonder of it all. I very nearly spoke out and said I had also made my decision . . . but no, I would stay at the Moot to help Fangorn with convincing those who were undecided.

Cadwaranc, Celevonrif, and I walked slowly together.

“We will tell them of the fate of our trees, Raenbrethil,” Celevonrif said firmly, as though he had been hearing my thoughts.

“Yes, we will use whatever words we can find that will make them picture the terror and destruction wreaked upon our people by the traitor and his Burarum,” Cadwarnac said as he taped his left fist into his right palm.

I nodded in return, too busy thinking to speak. My thoughts were of Fladrif refusing to come to Entmoot. I was thinking that he would live to regret that decision.

I was thinking Celevonrif, Cadwarnac and I might not live at all.

We came back to the Moot and started over again. We listened to each other talk about our dealings with the White Wizard all the years he had lived in Orthanc. He had been a friend at one time and knew many of us by our Elvish names. Particularly, he had known Finglas, Fladrif and Fangorn. As the heads of our three main families they had represented all of the Ents in most any interactions that involved any other beings. The rest of us tended our trees.

The day ended with Fangorn saying, “And so it had long been, or so we thought it had been. Fladrif, Finglas and myself thinking Saruman a wise friend and good neighbor. But now the story changes and now the Sun has also long taken her leave of us.”

He looked deeply into our eyes, taking time to weigh what he saw there. Slowly, he nodded.

“Those of you with houses nearby, please invite home those from the furthest reaches of the forest. Of course, some of you may stay here. There is water to drink here, though there is nowhere to bathe. We gather again at sunrise tomorrow.”

My kin and I went home with Gadorost.

The next day Fangorn began the long slow story of Saruman’s betrayal of our trust. How at first he had asked us only to allow the ill seeming Men who served him to glean fallen wood and cut trees that were dead. And this was as it should be. It is part of their place in Arda for the fallen branches and lifeless shells of our trees to be of service to the other peoples. Every living thing serves a purpose in its living and its dying. But gradually Saruman’s unkempt Men, including some that looked nearly like Burarum, were cutting the nearly dead and the not dead from among our herds.

I spoke for my family.

“It has been in the last year, perhaps two, as the outside world measures such things, that our lives had become a horror, my friends,” I said, keeping my voice quiet in order to keep it under my control. “His Men and these strange Burarum walked the woods all the night and, of late, all the day!”

(“Into the day?” “Surely not! Burarum cannot abide the Sun!” “How dare they!”)

“Yes!” I let my emotions reach my voice. “Yes, even in the bright light of the midday, they came with their axes. Most of our trees they hauled off to the fires, which now burn constantly in caves below the circle of Isengard. Yet there were also many they cut and let lie, doing nothing with them, leaving them to rot upon the earth.”

My throat had tightened and I could barely speak. Cadwarnac took up our tale.

“They attacked and killed many of the elder Ents. Those who had become more tree-ish and had trouble moving quickly enough to defend themselves. Our family has suffered greatly and it is for this reason that our head, Fladrif, moved us into the highlands on the eastern side of the hills and mountains. Far away from Nan Curunir and the world outside the forest.” His voice was nearly a whisper. “It is why he is not here. He will deal with the outside world no longer.”

So it went. A cousin of Bregalad’s told their family’s tale which was every bit as hideous as our own. And there were others who had isolated incidents to relate. The stories continued until it was a little past the midday and all had had their say.

“What shall we do?” Fangorn asked of us all.

The muttering and murmuring of Ent discussion was of short duration. Fordoron stepped forward.

“We take Isengard. We either kill or take captive the tree-killer. We destroy the Burarum in his keeping and we kill or take captive the Men who serve him.”

Fangorn nodded.

“Is this the decision of all who are gathered here? This must be what all of us agree to. This must be unanimous. I will not go any further otherwise.”

We all looked at each other. We are not hasty people given to rash actions, yet that was what was before us. The Eldest asked each of us in turn. Each of us said this was what we wished to do.

It was decided. The rest of the day and part of the next was spent planning.

Then . . .

. . . we marched.

We marched. We sang. We beat the time upon our legs. We met up with Bregalad and the Hobbits. Fangorn took the small ones back to ride upon his shoulders. As representative of the family most grievously hurt by Saruman the Traitor, I was striding upon Fangorn’s right and Bregalad, whose family had suffered nearly as much as ours, fell into step upon his left. We were marching to the breaking of Isengard.

Occasional beams of sunlight shot through the clouds, shining through the branches of the forest around us in gleaming triangles of light. Gradually the light faded. We marched in silence through the gloom until we crested the hills that formed the eastern side of Nan Curunir. Without a word from Fangorn we stopped. Below us lay the lair of our enemy. We thought of what we were about to do, but in those thoughts were none of leaving. Our fates, and those of the trees we loved, lay before us. We stealthily made our way into the Valley of Saruman.

*******************************************************************
A/N: “Burarum” (Orc) and the long word “a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lind-or-burume” (hill) are a couple of the few words in Entish that Tolkien uses in LOTR.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
nancylea57
Aug. 11th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
this makes me think that hastiness may be increasing in ents. i like the idea of seperate families within the society of ents. i wonder how strictly they reflect the type of tree they represtent. i'm sure that ents would tell us they love all their trees equally, but we hear that from all parental units. i think there are lots of follow through ideas in the story.is this why you are so prolific?
pearltook1
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Hi nancylea!
Treebeard does say in the books that he was surprised by how quickly the Ents made up their minds, so perhaps they were getting hastier! LOL

I was trying to glean what I could from what is in LOTR about the other Ents and it does seem there may have been family groups. He did mention Fladrif (Skinbark) loving birches and Bregalad (Quickbeam) loving rowans.

Odd that you should ask that about my being so prolific. I almost never see the follow through ideas in my stories that others see. The few times I've done follow ups it has been because someone else noticed something and would ask me to write about it. Mostly I'm so prolific because of writing for Marigold's Challenges for four years and now writing for this Challenge :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed my story :-)

Pearl
dreamflower02
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
What a *marvelous* gapfiller, Pearl! I think that you truly captured what an Ent-moot must have been like! The tone of the descriptions and the voice of your Ent is very much like Tolkien's own. I think you've outdone yourself with this one!
pearltook1
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
Oh my! Thank you Dreamflower :-) I'm so glad you liked it and felt my Ent(s) felt right!

Pearl
surgicalsteel
Aug. 12th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
What an interesting perspective on this event!
pearltook1
Aug. 12th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
Thank you, SS :-) I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Hugs,
Pearl
ceshaughnessy
Aug. 12th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
Pearl, you always come up with such neat ideas - loved this one as well!
pearltook1
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you Cathleen :-) I'm glad you loved it!
blslarner
Aug. 13th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
I find this fascinating. How rarely do we see the POV of Ents; and this distant Ent come to the Entmoot was perfect for the challenge. I got such a feeling for the grief so many of those who came felt, and appreciate their pain.

Well, well done.
pearltook1
Aug. 13th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, Larner :-) For some reason "green" and "a dozen" made me think of the Ents. They had suffered great losses and I'm glad that came through in the story.
harrowcatliz
Aug. 13th, 2008 10:01 am (UTC)
Great stuff Pearl. I loved the times when all the Ents were speaking at the same time. I thought that you caught the flavour of the Moot as Tolkien describes it beautifully.
pearltook1
Aug. 13th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you, harrowcatliz :-) When I was reading through that part of the book to write this, I noticed that Tolkien had them all talking at once - I'm glad that it came across well!
mrowe
Aug. 16th, 2008 11:20 am (UTC)
A very original PoV; I don't think I've ever seen the Entmoot described from this perspective.
pearltook1
Aug. 19th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you mrowe, I'm glad you found it original. I like it when I can pull that off. :-)
(Deleted comment)
pearltook1
Aug. 19th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
aw, thank you so much, Pipkin :-) I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. Ents are fascinating and so "Tolkien"!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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