Endmur the writer15 Jul 2017 | Middle Earth
Endmur had no interest in most of his classes. Most young elves at his age relished their five year long introductory classes to the elven crafts. In his last class, he was instructed to forge a basic weapon that would be able to keep as a souvenir when the class ended.
After five years of practice and work, Endmur disappointed his teacher by presenting him with a foot long letter opener. The capstone project on these classes proceeded with secrecy, otherwise Master Altema would have stopped Endmur’s petty project and guided him toward a dagger or short sword.
As a letter opener, the handle wouldn’t even fit a full hands width. It would be impossible to use it for anything else. It was a pathetic thing, and the two other classmates in his year and class laughed mirthfully at the tiny thing–especially when they compared it to their own capstone projects: a two handed sword made of a mixed alloy, and a one handed battleaxe that was as light as a feather.
But Endmur had no interested in fighting.
His next class did not hold his interest either, and he spent most of his time daydreaming about how human children could take multiple classes at the same time and finish in a 10 years or so–and some didn’t even have to go to school. After all, he was only 86 years into his schooling, and he had yet to choose a specialization.
He made a simple alarm spell–not even a telepathic one, just a little glow, like the kind a homeowner might put on a ring to see if the guests had arrived. And that wasn’t just a project, he made that into his capstone for the class.
The ridicule was fierce, and Endmur decided to run away. He took his writing materials, some food, and his father’s sword and set out across the world to find his story.
Off across the plains he walked and through the woods. He wasn’t a warrior, a hunter, a hero, or tracker by any elven measure, but in comparison to the humans, goblins, and dwarves, he did just fine.
Out in the open air, he felt his freedom fully, and as he crossed a mountain range he made a promise to himself that he would spend a hundred years writing before he went back to his people. In the very least, his father would be less raw about the stolen sword.
After months of travel, he found a clear pool in a clearing not too far from the edge of the forest. He took his time forming the earth and shaping the trees until he had a modest one room cottage on the edge of the pool. Humans try to build in a single year, perhaps two, to escape the harsh winters and remember their frailty. This one room cottage took Endmur four years to build.
And when he had finished it, he went inside and wrote. He wrote fantastical stories about dragons and pixies. He wrote histories on the Dwarves and poems about love. He wrote books on plants and tomes on insects. He made his own paper and bindings, and soon (relatively speaking), he had a library of his own writings.
He wrote for sixty-two years before his writing encountered a rather abrupt interruption.
You see, he loved his writing so much that he neglected other things, and as you might have guessed, his alarm letter opener–that was a part of a class he cared little for, didn’t work.
The elven art of enchanting metalworks could be divided into two major phases. The first phase encompassed the research and planning, the organizing and refinement of the enchantment itself to ensure it would do what the wielder intended. The second phase–often considered the easier phase by far included the implementation of the enchantment onto the physical metal. The ancient dialects and coiling grooves were difficult to put into place, but after a few metalworking classes and engraving classes, it was considered a trivial task.
Endmur’s teacher was also partly to blame. The simple alarm enchantment looked fine on paper. It was so simple that it could be put onto a ring, but Endmur did not put his attentions on this detailed work. And neither Endmur nor his teacher actually checked to see if it worked.
On that night when Endmur’s writing came to an end, voices could be heard outside his cottage. “Hey Bert, I found somethin!”
“Say what?” Another voice responded from further away.
“I found a tiny house here in the woods.”
“Well, pop it open and see what’s inside.” The second voice grew closer.
From in the distance, a third voice could be heard, “Tom, if you open that house before I get there, I’ll gut you myself.”
A minute or two passed. Endmur hadn’t heard any of it. He had spent so many years training himself to focus–and he was in the middle of expounding on the nature of the Dartwig tree’s sap–a fascinating subject if you have strong interests in tree saps with a particular specialization in healing cracked bird eggs.
He did notice when the three guests–unannounced by the letter opener–lifted up the short roof and plucked him out of if writing chair.
His last thought was annoyance that he had been interrupted mid-paragraph when he was really in the flow of writing.
The three trolls collected all the valuables from the cottage (a few pendants, clothes, a shiny sword, and a letter opener) and collected all the books and furniture into a bonfire. They roasted and ate poor Endmur while sitting around the charred remains of the writer’s entire life’s work.
After talking and laughing for some time, the trolls got up and brought the meager spoils back to their cave a few miles off. The only trace of Endmur’s legacy lay in the bottom of a sack in an obscure cave–a letter opener that only glowed when orcs were close.
But his legacy did live on, despite the odds and misfortune in ways that no write would have guessed–through the curious letter opener made by an unknown writer-elf, by the name of Endmur Sting.