The Pub At The End of The World

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The Pub At The End of The World

Postby elora » Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:55 pm

An irreverent and farscial take on Mandos’ Second Prophecy, Dagor Dagorath and the Second Music; wherein liberties have been taken with canonical characters solely for the amusement and diversion of the author responsible for this calamity.


SCENE 1 – Turin Turambar Returns to Life


Tulkas sat heavily in a sturdy chair made by all too clever Elves principally for this purpose. Nonetheless the chair groaned in alarm. Tulkas was, how shall we say, a sturdy fellow. The thumping of his wide rump upon the moaning chair was simply normal sitting business as far as Tulkas and those familiar with him were concerned. More troubling by far, provided we ignore the protestations of the groaning chair beneath his bulk, was the manner in which Tulkas sighed. It was, clichéd or not, gusty.

His sigh was punctuated neatly by the smashing of bottles. A throaty cheer followed and someone, one of the Calaquendi that infested the place after their unfortunate introduction to the joys of libation, demanded in a wild and drunken voice for a repeat of the excitement. Usually, drunken Calaquendi were roundly ignored but this time it seemed the fellow was in luck for there was an enthusiastic roar. At this, Tulkas sank his head into his large hands and his great shoulders hunched forward.

Such uncharacteristic behaviour unsettled Tulkas’ companion and Eönwë leaned closer to the Valar lord so that he might speak through the din into Tulkas’ ears. The din, however, was not easily defeated. A deep throated chanting had begun, accompanied by devious laughter that would make even the most scurrilous of louts nervous. Then came a high pitched hooting, just to float over the top of the wall of sound and make any other form of verbal communication impossible. Still, Eönwë persisted and hence had to shout into Tulkas’ woebegotten ear.

”WHAT IS GOING ON?”

Eönwë’s question rang out in sudden silence and he cringed before he realised everyone had not stopped to stare at him after all. Instead, everyone was looking to the door of the pub. It was filled by a dark shape, lean and tall. The shape stepped into the pub slowly and cast back his cowl to reveal a pale face, mortal and yet uncommonly fair. Or it would be, but for the sorrow that burned in his grey eyes.

”Oh no,” Tulkas muttered unhappily.

”Is that who I think it is?” Eönwë asked, hushed.

”Like hell!” called another voice, velvety lush despite the sentiment.

The newcomer’s eyes narrowed and then widened as the subject he had been staring at vanished without further ado. Turin Turambar’s hand dropped from the hilt of his fell Black Sword, and he strode deeper into the pub. Eönwë could but stare as the Master of Doom approached their table. Tulkas, however, had resigned himself to this disaster of timing. His neck cracked as he stretched his head from side to side.

”What wouldst thou have of me?” Turambar demanded upon arriving, ”And what manner of creature was that?”

“I’d not refer to her in that fashion,”
Tulkas warned, ”And why couldn’t you have gotten here yesterday. I said yesterday. I thought I was explicit.”

“Her? A woman then? Not an Elf. Certainly not mortal.”

“We’ll discuss the Guardian of Arda another time,”
Tulkas told him and then gestured at a chair.

Suddenly the source of Tulkas’ consternation became clear to Eönwë however Turin Turambar remained confused and the Master of Doom had little liking for confusion. It made his insides feel all wibbly-wobbly.

”One of your ilk then,” Turin declared as he settled reluctantly into a chair.

Eönwë rubbed at the back of his neck diffidently, ”I’d be careful referring to her in that fashion also.”

Tulkas murmured agreement with his colleague and ordered some of the ale. Now that the Guardian had absented herself, things were much calmer within the pub and it was not difficult to attract attention. Turin decided to occupy himself with studying the pub’s other varied denizens. His eye was caught firstly by the Calaquendi who were distributed about the place. They’d taken the news of the impending death of the sun and moon particularly hard. After the Calaquendi, Turin found himself peering at a Dwarf that seemed to be engaged in a private drinking contest with a Silvan Elf. Theirs was one of the few tables not upturned in the vicinity recently occupied by this Guardian of Arda. Stranger still were children…no not children…two very, very short adults.

This, Turin concluded, was a very strange place. But, upon additional reflection, it was no stranger than being alive a second time. He was well accustomed to weird but even that was just plain insane even by his standards. The whole point of killing yourself was to be dead. He was not in the least well pleased by this latest turn of events. Not at all.

While Turin glowered, Eönwë leaned in to whisper to Tulkas, ”Why did you have the Guardian come here today?”

“I didn’t know she’d show up today!”
Tulkas objected, ”That ale contest has been on offer for weeks now. And as for sourpuss over there, he was supposed to get here yesterday.”

“This,”
Eönwë observed, ”Is not going to be easy.”

“Why am I here?”
Turin demanded, stroking the hilt of the Black Sword at his hip.

Tulkas sighed, ”You want the pretty version, go talk to Manwe.”

“I would have it in plain speech,”
Turin growled.

”Simply put, then, Morgoth is going to put out the Sun and Moon and-“

“He’s STILL here!”
Turin exclaimed and Eönwë interjected in a bid to assist his companion.

”No- no…he’s been kept prisoner behind the Doors of the Night for aeons now-“

“Then how does he-“

“He gets out,”
Tulkas said heavily.

Turin frowned, ”Sloppy work, that.”

Eönwë opened his mouth to object but Tulkas shook his head and continued on, ”You are here, Turin Turambar, to defeat Morgoth once and for all. By your hand only can it be done.”

Turin leaned back in his chair. He smelled a rat.

”Were it up to me, I’d keep him in prison. Seems simple enough.”

Tulkas sighed unhappily again. Explaining prophecy was a complex task, especially when explaining it to truculent mortals come back to life.

”How does he escape then?” Turin inquired and glanced around the pub, ”Does he have allies?”

“There are still some,”
Tulkas admitted and Turin pounced on his words.

”That woman?”

“No! Not her. Definitely not her.”

“Why not her?”
Turin asked.

”It just isn’t,” Tulkas snapped irritably and then asked Eönwë ”Why couldn’t I get Eärendil? Eärendil’s reasonable.”

“Cheer up,”
Eönwë said, ”There surely must be way we prevail, else Mandos would not have issued this Second Prophecy.”

“If there is a way, why doesn’t he just tell us? Why does the old goat have to speak in riddles?”


Eönwë patted his forearm consolingly. Later, much later, Tulkas broached the difficult task of explaining just who the Guardian of Arda was to the Master of Doom. Thankfully, Turin was very drunk by then and the Guardian had remained absent. Like as not, she was demanding a few answers of her own from her brother but that was a family matter and it do not do to get caught in the matters of that family any further than was already necessary.

”So, do you understand now?” Tulkas asked, oberserving Turin carefully.

”I think that went smashingly well,” Eönwë offered.

”She’sh Morgoth’sh twin,” Turin slurred, frowning at a puddle of ale on the table.

”Yes,” Tulkas encouraged, ”And?”

Turin’s head thunked forward onto the table and Tulkas leaned his chin on one hand, ”And we’re going to need her help to pull this off, even if she’s not on speaking terms with Manwe Sulimo.”

“She will help, though, won’t she?”
Eönwë asked, ”I’ve never met her myself but you have.”

“Of course she will,”
Tulkas said, more confident than he felt. She’d not shown up at the end of the First Age. When Sauron was rising she was nowhere to be found. Same again when he fell. In fact, aside from a brief and frantic period during the First Age, no one had seen or heard from the Guardian of Arda. Her quarrel with her brothers, both of them, ran deep. He happened to be one who thought she had a fair point.

But if she had abandoned them before, if she had repudiated her brethren as cowards, how could they trust she would return to aid them now. And what had she been doing all this time? He had to concede that it was possible that the Guardian of Arda had fallen in the same way her twin had. They were both fire spirits – swift in thought and deed. Long had there been whispers that she secreted aidly Melkor all this time and well she knew it. It was why she had absented herself upon clapping eyes on Turin Turambar.

Then again, had she inserted herself into the flow of history, things would have been very different. For one, Sauron would not have dared that trick with the rings. It was a well known fact that Sauron soiled himself at the very thought of his Dark Lord’s ferocious sister. And he knew, for himself, that she had made more than one of her brother’s dragons weep. But maybe that was why she had vanished – so as not to interfere with the weave of history.

Just thinking about it made Tulkas’ head hurt. He really needed another ale.



SCENE 2 – Wherein The Guardian of Arda Meets Turin Turambar


”And then what happened?” asked Merriadoc Brandybuck, eagerness stamped upon his adorable hobbit features.

The smile his question was met with was mischevious to say the least and a kindred one blossomed on Merry’s face.

”Well, the thing to bear in mind when it comes to Blue Wizards is that singularly they tend to be a tad flammable,” The Guardian of Arda explained and Merry’s smile grew wider, ”And so that meant that I had to-“

“Oh look! Turin’s back!”[/I] Legolas announced.

At this, Elora Starsong shot up to her very lengthy height and spun to face the door.

”Again?” she muttered with an exasperated glance to the bar, ”Oh well, as long as they get another cask in by tomorrow.”

Turin espied her immediately. She was difficult to miss.

He extended his arm and pointed a finger at her, ”YOU!”

Elora squared her shoulders and crossed her arms over her chest, ”If you pick up a tankard and throw it at me, Turin Turambar, I will put you across my knees and spank you until your rump glows in the dark!”

Over in the corner, an Elf once known as Saeros giggled into his beer very very quietly. Turin, never one to back away from a confrontation, proved that some habits died very hard indeed. He stepped forward ominously. Elora, for her measure, rolled her eyes.

”Sometimes, I really wonder why I entertain these quaint notions of mine,” she remarked to no one in particular and suddenly she was gone.

Turin stared at the now empty space, ignoring the crestfallen hobbit and cocked a dark brow, ”It seems all this Guardian is good for is running away.”

At that an empty tankard bounced off the back of Turin’s head.

Gimli observed, ”You could have warned him.”

Legolas nodded calmly, ”Yes. I could have.”



SCENE 3 – Wherein Tulkas Attempts to Convince The Guardian of Arda to Give Turin A Second Chance


”Besides, once you get to know him, he’s a barrel of laughs,” Tulkas finished.

Elora sat back in her chair, arms crossed, and considered Tulkas at length. The scrutiny of the Guardian of Arda was not an easy thing to bear but Tulkas was accustomed to this strange member of his brethren. The swirl of her eyes as all the colours of Arda tumbled chaotically around was comforting. It meant that she was not enraged. He’d much rather be caught in that whirlwind of colour than the ominious, flat indigo her eyes shifted to from time to time. Copper curls tumbled haphazardly around her shoulders. She’d not tied it back and she did not appear to wearing her weapons. Surely all signs, along with the colours of her eyes, that Elora had not agreed to meet with him today to prosecute a grudge.

”Well,” she sniffed after a while, ”When you put it that way.”

Tulkas dared feel a little relieved as Elora uncrossed her arms and clasped her hands before her on the table between them. She seemed to relax as she leant forwards.

”I mean, who could resist the chance to go to a battle that will end everything as we know it just for giggles.”

The sarcasm was so thick Tulkas was surprised he did not hear it splashing onto the floor. With a contemptuous flick of her curls, Elora stood. Her departure, however was forestalled by none other than Turin Turambar. His Black Sword appeared as if from nowhere, it’s fell flickering edge held over her shoulder from behind and thirstily lusting to taste the blood that pulsed beneath the delicate skin of her throat.

”Oh, he’s hilarious alright,” Elora growled at Tulkas.

”You’ll not escape me this time!” Turin announced.

”Not that bright either,” Elora observed through her teeth, ”You failed to mention that, Tulkas.”

“Turn and face me!”
Turin demanded and at that Elora heaved a pained sigh.

”Honestly, you tried that on my brother’s dragon and that did not go so well for you,” she pointedly stated.

”You’ll not ensorcel me anew,” Turin declared and at that Tulkas saw a dangerous smile curve Elora’s lips.

”Oh no,” he groaned as Elora slowly pivoted to face Turin Turambar, Master of Doom. She never could say no to a challenge.

Though she did not so much as flutter a lash at Turin, the sound of his body falling senseless to the boards was not long in coming. The Black Sword clattered uselessly down beside him. Elora looked back at Tulkas over one shoulder.

”This is our hero? Someone should confiscate that sword of his before he hurts himself.”

“Elora don’t-“


But despite Tulkas’ protestations Elora did. She stepped serenely over Turin’s prone form with his sword clasped under one arm and swanned out of the pub at the End of the World with a flick of her hips.



SCENE 4 – Wherein Turin Endeavours To Get His Sword Back


Turin hurtled through the air and landed hard. Pain shot through his tangled limbs and his head swam.

”AND STAY OUT!” the Guardian of Arda shouted from her front door and then slammed it for good measure.



SCENE 5 – Wherein Elora Starsong Is Prevailed Upon


To say she was out of sorts before she even arrived was not too far from the truth. The free ale offer at the Pub At the End of the World had ended, and not because she’d drunk it all. Thanks chiefly to one Turin Turambar. The Master of Doom had made matters far worse, however, by drawing his sword upon her. The Master of Doom, evidently, was more than a little short sighted when it comes to matters of strategy. Then she’d caught him snooping around her home like a common thief. And now, well her brother said it was a family dinner but she knew, oh she just knew, she’d end up having to deal with that wretched mortal again tonight.

What she didn’t count on, however, is being put on trial. For theft.

”Has the accused anything to offer in her defense?” Mandos asked.

Elora leaned a hip against the dock and studied her nails for a moment.

”Actually, I do,” she said and glanced over to where Irmo sat with Ulmo.

She winked at the Lord of the Seas and saw him nudge the Lord of Dreams with his elbow. Then she drew a deep breath and addressed the court.

”What I have to say is simple: my family is a pack of….”

Elora’s statement fell away from the hearing of Elves, Men and Dwarves observing but the Ainur heard it just fine. Some sucked in their breaths, shocked by the explicit language used by the Guardian of Arda, whilst others smiled.

After a while, Elora returned to language understandable to all, ”And that’s all I have to say about the matter.”

“OUTRAGEOUS!”
her brother thundered.

”Everything is outrageous to you, Manwe,” Elora sighed, ignoring the way Varda shook her head at her, ”You sanctimonious son of a –“

“ENOUGH!”
Tulkas cried and strode into the Circle of Doom.

Elora’s smirk flickered until Tulkas pinned her with a simple question, ”Do you have the Black Sword. Answer me plainly, Guardian.”

“I do,”
she answered plainly.

”Will you return it to its rightful keeper?” Tulkas inquired.

Elora looked past him to where Turin Turambar stood, looking very much aggrieved.

”Perhaps I might…once he’s apologised.”

“Apologise!”
Turin exclaimed, outraged, ”What for?!”

“Oh you know, mortal. Or do I need to toss you on your head a second time?”

“I’d like to see you try!”

“Well alright then!”


Elora vaulted over the dock and would have made it where Turin stood had Tulkas not been fortunate enough to grab her arm and swing her around behind him. It fell to unfortunate Eönwë to keep her occupied whilst Tulkas dealt with Turin.

”Apologise,” he said plainly to the Master of Doom.

”I’ll do no such thing!”

“If you want that sword of yours back you will.”

“Why should I?”
Turin challenged as Eönwë exclaimed in alarm at whatever Elora was doing to him.

”You drew your sword on her, unprovoked,” Tulkas said, ”And even though that’s consistent with your idiom, it’s still not polite.”

“She kept running. Why run if she has nothing to hide?”

“Perhaps she didn’t want to get run through by the Black Sword. That’s bound to be unpleasant, even for her.”

“I say she cannot be trusted,”
Turin Turambar declared.

”You broke into her house, Master of Doom. She could say the same of you.”

“To retrieve my sword!”

“Apologise! Nicely!”
Tulkas snapped at him.

Turin heaved a pained sigh and approached, cautiously, the Guardian of Arda.

”For pity’s sake, hurry, Eönwë moaned from beneath her.

”Sorry,” Turin muttered belligerently, distracted by the way in which Eönwë had been folded, ”How’d you do that?”

“It’s simple enough,”
Elora replied and, after a moment’s thought, shrugged and nodded at one of Eönwë’s legs, ”Grab that one and I’ll show you how.”



SCENE 6 – Wherein An Alliance Is Formed Just In Time


”And then I said ‘See?’” Turin said and at that Elora threw back her head to laugh fulsomely.

”That wasn’t even funny,” Eönwë grumbled at another table, still out of sorts about being used as a training dummy.

”At least they’re no longer at each other’s throats,” Tulkas observed warily.

Eönwë sniffed, ”I liked it better when they were. At least we knew what to expect.”

“Well, cheer up. Turin’s bound to turn this friendship sour given enough time.”

“True enough,”
Eönwë acknowledged.

Then, all of a sudden, the lights went out. Through the howling and screaming, Elora could be heard to ask, ”Sure, Sun and Moon, but why did no one mention that all the fires would be put out too? I mean, that’s just inconsiderate and inconvenient. Mandos never was one for the details.”

Then, from the door came the sound of a very loud, agitated, ”OW!”

“That’d be Eärendil,”
the Guardian of Arda stated confidently.

”How’d you know?” Turin asked.

”I’d know that ow anywhere. Besides, Eärendil’s a great mariner when it comes to big things – moons, Undying Lands, you know. Doorways are a little small for a mariner like him. Look, I’d love to hang about but my brother’s out now and he’s bound to want to settle a score or five with me. Best I be going.”

“Will I see you again?”
Turin asked.

“Sure!” in precisely the tone she used when lying through her back teeth.



SCENE 7 – The Second Music


The Pub at the End of the World was little more than charred timbers after Dagor Dagorath, but that did not stop the Guardian of Arda from poking through them all the same. Weary as she was, smeared in smoke and soot and blood still seeping through rents in her armour, she really wanted a drink. And a little peace and quiet.

”Geez…not one cask,” she mournfully observed amidst the wreckage.

”Not one?” asked Turin Turambar, battle stained yet victorious.

”Nope,” Elora said.

”Pity,” Turin said, ”I really could have done with a drink.”

No sooner had he said that did a strange and wondrous Music begin to whisper. Turin’s eyes widened at the sound of it.

”And, by the time you’re done, you’ll really be thirsty,” Elora observed for she knew what it was that they heard.

Turin, though, frowned at her.

”The Second Music…you know…the one that is made by the Ainur and Children of Illuvator?”

Turin shook his head at her, ”Never heard of it.”

Elora shrugged and sat beside the wreckage of the pub.

”Well, whatever is to come next I hope it has a decent pub.”

“Could you not shape it, Guardian. You are Ainur.”

“The only thing I am shaping is a soft, warm bed to sink into…after a long soak…I think…yes….lavender scented bubbles,”
she sighed wistfully, ”That would be nice.”

Turin screwed his face up, ”Lavender is for girls.”

“Evidently,”
Elora remarked wryly.



The End of World As We Know It
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elora
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