Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tales of a Dark Continent

Check out the novel-length epic of 4th Age Middle-earth:

Tales of a Dark Continent

Winner of a Middle-earth Fanfiction Award (MEFA), Tales of a Dark Continent is the untold history of the Far-east of Middle-earth as told by the great chronicler of the 4th Age, Greagoir the blind scribe, whose life and love was inextricably wound with the shadowy lore of the East.

Exerpt from Tales of a Dark Contintent --

And then came the snoring. It punctuated the end of each chapter with a blunt finality. Greagoir was a master at keeping just enough wind in his bellows to complete a point, before suddenly dozing off. His mind might run far afield at times as well, but even his digressions were relevant to his overall narration, and he remained remarkably lucid and lively for his advanced age. He had much to say, but he felt there was too little time left to say it in; hence, his tendency to ramble. But he always returned to the crux of his tale, no matter how circuitous the route to arrival.

Greagoir's apprentice carefully spread some drying-sand on the wet ink of his parchment, then briskly waved the cramp from his writing hand. Splaying then clenching his fingers until the circulation returned to his fingertips, the apprentice leaned back in his chair and prepared for some well-earned rest himself. The master would remain asleep for perhaps an hour, depending upon his exertion. Rarely did he sleep for any lengthier period of time, choosing to regiment his days and nights with these 'catnaps', and he expected his apprentice to do the same ("Sleep is the refuge of the indolent," Greagoir would say; "no ballads were sung or great battles won while snoring."). Needless to say, the apprentice, named Tatya Reecho, was a rather pallid youth of seventeen years with great circles under his eyes; but after nearly five years of apprenticeship, he had become accustomed to catching a few winks while his master slumbered.

Before Tatya fell asleep, he watched his master for a moment as the old man grumbled and snorted in his fitful rest. The other apprentices of the Scrivener's Guild often referred to the Master-scribe as a 'pompous old windbag', and many a hapless scribeling had been frightened off by him over the years; yet to Tatya, Greagoir was a marvel, and the greatest Lorist of his day (Tatya was given a tongue-lashing of immense proportions the one and only time he mistakenly referred to Greagoir as a 'Loremaster'). And while Greagoir insisted that Tatya copy verbatim the master's recitations on long-dead heroes and ancient chronicles, the apprentice considered Greagoir's reminiscences as interesting, if not more so, than the lore. So the apprentice kept a secret diary of his master's memoirs, deeming that both story and story-teller were equally important; thus, the two themes became inextricably woven into the fabric of an even greater tale.

Invariably, Greagoir awoke to the sound of his own snoring. "Tatya, you lazy lay-about!" the master boomed irritably, "you have fallen asleep again in the middle of recitations! Curse these useless eyes! I cannot see when you've nodded off!"

"Forgive me, master," was Tatya's well-rehearsed reply, "shall we continue where you left off then?"

"No, slothful scribeling!" Greagoir replied in vexation, "read for me what you've managed to commit to parchment. I only pray you haven't lost the entire narrative, damnable loiterer!"

Tatya smiled and reiterated the entire prologue and first chapter word-for-word (interrupted now and again with timely emendations from the master). Satisfied that his apprentice had faithfully copied the entire piece (and had not fallen into what the master would term as 'pernicious laxity'), Greagoir mumbled some quiet words of praise for Tatya, and continued on as if the confrontation had never occurred.


virtuella said...

This story is great! Everybody should read it.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

Thank you, m'dear. Unfortunately, 'everybody' can't read -- although they can text. ;p