Above the Misty Mountains

It was the twilight of the day, but the sun did not yet appear. And it was cold between the peaks, cold like in winter. Only the wind stirred snow and made ever-new shapes. Fields of ice glittered white and silent. The valleys appeared like chasms of darkness. At last something was heard in the silence; two humans who laboured to climb the mountain, a man and a young woman.
Stopping, the woman said to the man: 'Stop, I must rest, Edryn.'
'Well, Gwendolyn. But the highest summit is not far away.'
'Look, the tree-woven valleys beneath the shadow of the night. And the silvery mist of the morning. Beautiful.'
'Yes. But I can see smoke and fires in our homeland. The orcs torch the houses of our people.'
'Ever will the battles trouble the peace of the world. When will the end of these battles come?'
'If we find the things we desire on this summit, the end might come. Do we climb on?'
'We came to this place to find the secret lore of the mountains, but I have doubt now.'
'Have hope, Gwendolyn! He will find it.', said Edryn and began to walk again.

While going on, Gwendolyn remembered the dreadful battle at the pass nine days ago. At first, tidings from villages not far away had come to Ordd, her home, then came wounded men who survived the war of the approaching orcs. At the end came a number of elves to bring help to the men.

Gwendolyn remembered the immortal faces of the elves, bright like the sun. They had spoken to the eldest of Ordd, they spoke of war and of a power of shadow from the East, of dark magic and of battles of the elves against this power. And the people of Ordd had seized clubs, spears and hammers to fight against the approaching enemy. At the end, the orc-host came from the plain. Having seen the orcs, the men of Ordd waited hidden.

And Gwendolyn remembered the waiting. It had rained. In fear she had waited, in her hands an old sword, not konwing how to fight. Auriel, an elven-maiden came and spoke words of hope, but Gwendolyn did not hear her.

At the end the orcs had come. Arrows flew and she heard din and the crying of the wounded. Suddenly Auriel fought, and Gwednolyn did not have time to think. She rised her sword and the world appeared like a sea of blood.

Gwendolyn did not remember the battle, but she remembered Auriel slain, her beautiful immortal fact stained in a pond. And many friends had died. They had defended Ordd now, but she knew more orcs would come.

On the next day, all people of ordd met in the house of the eldest for a debate. But having spoken of many things, they did still not find an answer. At last, Gwendolyn, Edryn and a small number of people went to Morvyn, a wise woman who liven alone in the forest. At night they approached the small house with a straw roof.

'You are close enough.' they heard Morvyn from the house. 'Only three can enter.' And only Gwendolyn and two women dared to enter. Inside the house they smelled herbs and holy smoke. 'Why did you come?',, asked Morvyn. 'We came to hear what we can do if the orcs come again.', answered Gwendolyn. Morvyn waited thoughtful. 'The powers of the mountains might know the answer.', she said whispering. She fetched a water-vessel and looked into the dark water. Gwendolyn waited. At last Morvyn said with a changed voice:

'Long ago the powers of the mountains have protected our people. But today we do not understand the mountains, we do not climb the summits and we do not hear the language of the stones. We must forge the old bond anew. It is necessary to go to the highest summit.'

'Who will dare to go?', asked Rhianna. It is late spring, the ways are horrible and if we go up now, maybe someone dies.' - 'But you must go now.', said Morvyn. 'And when we come to the summit, what must we do?', asked Rhianna. 'I do not know.', said Morvyn. No-one knows. You will find it there.'

A cry of Edryn was the end of Gwendolyns daydream of past things. From the summit a lot of snow came falling down. Swiftly, Gwendolyn attached her rope to the rock. She felt cold snow and a strong wind pushed her towards the chasm. Suddenly her rope ripped apart. With luck she caught a stone and endured the falling snow. Shuddering she saw towards the deep.
'Are you injured?', asked Edryn above her. 'I'm not injured.', she gave answer.
'But I'm terrified. If you had not cried, I had fallen. Like Olwen fell.'

Gwendolyn remembered the fall of Olwen. It was in the middle of the night. She had cried out briefly, then vanished from the border of the chasm. Only silent snow had fallen untroubled. Two had climbed on.

Having cold snow on her fingers they came at last to the highest summit. The sun had not risen, but the daylight approached swiftly. Edryn saw towards the peak of ice and snow. 'Here is nobody!', he cried. 'What must we do here? We have come to this place, Olwen died, but we only find snow! Where is the voice of the stones?'

Gwendolyn rested, her hands shuddering. She desired only to sleep eternally, and the crying of Edryn seemed without meaning. She felt the cold snow beneath her feet. The sun kissed the borders of the world, and far summits glittered in the first light. And suddenly she felt a great calm and peace.

'Don't you understend, Edryn?', she asked. 'The mountains are eternal, orcs and foes from the East do not trouble them. The light of the sun, the glittering of the snow - the darkness cannot conquer them - they will endure.'
'But our people will not endure, Gwendolyn. Our people will die when the orcs come.'
'Our people must learn the lore of the mountains. When the orcs come, we must go to hidden valleys. There, the mountains will protect us. It is necessary for our people to be like the mountains - the snow falls in winter, the snow melts in summer, but it does not trouble the mountains. The orcs are for our people like the snow for the mountains. The orcs will not trouble us if we do these things.'
'This is without wisdom. Orcs will conquer Ordd and light a great fire.'
'They will. But they will not conquer the people of Ordd.'
'Are these the words of the mountains that we've come for?'
'Yes, Edryn. Now I understand the voice of the mountains.'

And then they went downhill, two persons changed, but only Gwendolyn with hope.

The end.

See the Sindarin version

Back to the index