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12.12.17

Even so the strong women and team of boys attending labored on toward the surrounding woods, dragging before the dead body grown luminescent in the day-after; indeed, as the moon arose its shape in the dark night, so did his flesh appear to raise a hollow candle within, and glow silver, and thus fearing some tracking scout or recovery party sent of Rugus, to claim his fleshy inheritance (being held his son in body) they set gathered, dried and dead branches upon his frame, and yet still it burned forth to raise a hue of pale light under the moon; both to draw shadows competing, as the retinue dragged on.

Until in the dawn before day, they arrived deep in the woods, and there raised a few, some calls, and being answered, did go forth, and were met in the pinking trees; for here had she arranged, as on the third day, to meet some strong men, mighty enough in those days to withstand most evils encountered in the ways then open; and they mustering, buried the body deep under stones, one araising, and scratched there in cuts, some ciphers, as to mark a burial mound accursed (though but to preserve his sanctuary, arest); and when his blessed flesh was rotting thereunder, the spirit power of Joseph was wrought forth, and arose from out of the raised stone; and not as a wraith, to stand, but only by the next moon’s rising over, to cast shadow on his grave; and by Ifariel be known, and silent she greeted him again, and he her, knowing in her one of a lineage too long mired in criminal pettiness, thrifty in ambition where before in Olden Days, her tribe was a danger, threatening any foreseeking evil to spread, against their watch; thus it was, she heartened, raised herself those men into soldiery, and chief combatant now named she Rugus-house, where many slumbered of an evil spell, accursed, and those awakening, scrambled and scurried in the dust as reptiles upon bellies, lowly to hide from some phantasm-gods;

And it was to the cut in the floor they crawled, armed for battle if need be for defense, and slaying none by design, they descended silent, dangling down ropes (as of silk!) to come in the lateness before dawn, when all rested of works shameful, there left in residue or as footprints to hunters scenting, atrack; and Ifariel named room by room, whom to gather as in rescue offered, and whom to bind in ropes (less pleasant to touch!) until arriving finally to Rugus’s hole; and bolted hard by, these liberators and captors both, swung axes, and cut out the door; therein lay the man to whom a Silmaril had called, not once only! And sprawled as a dead man, opiate-slaked, as one dead though yet living (in a manner); and besotted thus of leaf and bulb burning black, he heard not his favored maid depart, as waking from a sudden-rolled back dream, and wonder in which phantasm of heart, and which beyond her fearing mind; of Ifariel’s clan, and by her led into this den, was the “Lioness,” as Rugus named her; and taking all the stores they might (or would dare) carry away, having then set heavy stones all about, as in burial of a wicked hole, the twenty of Ifariel departed without great haste, being worried for the rescued, and eager to not leave any behind, or astraying, to tread there back, and open that living tomb.2Later it was held that Rugus after dying, stumbled about for an age, until arriving at that hole to him known, wherein was the Light Imperishable, and he took up a bed before the gem, and laid him down, and took his rightful sleep, though not wholly in peaceful dreams aslumber.

And again they passed under moonlight – though greatly cloaked in this inky night – until arriving at the tarrying point, lastly gathered not three days previous; and here aglow they beheld the Golden Sprite (as he was called) and he led them forth, overwatched, through dying terrain, dried swamps (as if suddenly parched, like corn) and by devious circles, forth out, to a road by them known and taken in rushing joy in a week, until departing as in dropping-bodies by a single one knowing, each were led in diverse routes each to that shore-settlement, poor in wealth upon a river without general name.

And having no home himself, nor burial place to abide in waiting in solace the kindred in body, Joseph-su lingered behind, lessened in shimmer and blow. And he circled about that settlement, not daring to try a watercrossing, as yet; neither haunting any homestead, yet fear in spades he did at will provoke, and thus were they these remnant Kiliadrin-Kiliathrim domiciled in peace unwearying.


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