Portfolio piece: The Account of Thorstyn Evernight

Thorstyn sits in the Accountant’s Corner in the Great Hall of the Unfinished Tales’ Residence. He wipes the tears off the high table. The loss of his old friend Ghralin hit him hard. Nonetheless, he promised to continue his work while he was away. And Durin knows how long that may take…

He takes a sheet of paper from the low bookshelf besides the table. Through his teary eyes, he’s able to discern some sort of hairless goat. Thorstyn sighs. He’s not sure what this is doing there, but he does know Ghralin loved to research and categorise all kinds of things. He decides to place it back in the self, and makes sure he gets a clean sheet of paper this time. Thorstyn rubs his eyes. The quiver, always present on the table, is dipped in ink. Thorstyn strokes through his beard with his free hand. Should he begin with himself? He’s never been a great writer, and but a decent storyteller. Perhaps he should ask his cousin Garbern to do it for him? Who knows, maybe in due time he could approach him. But his own accounts, those are for himself to write. After all, Garbern might reveal too much.

Thorstyn was born in the year 2872 (Third Age), in a small settlement called Minaegas, or Midpeaks in Westron, some 15 miles to the south west of Mount Gundabad, he begins. Good, there’s a start. He heard that’s the most difficult of writing. A faint smile appears on his lips. He’s the only son of Harstyn, son of Thartyn, and Hadwig, daughter of Gundrin. Harstyn was a soldier; a sentinel whose charge it was to keep Minaegas safe. Hadwig was a strict, but caring mother. Thorstyn pauses for a moment. His mother died in an accident a long time ago. It’s hard to believe how many years he hasn’t thought of her. Odd.

When Thorstyn turned 39, he was sent by his father to a smithy, to learn the trade of smithing. He wanted to keep his son as far away from war and battle as possible, for Harstyn never knew when he himself would return home, if he did. He was sent to a friend of Harstyn’s, a Master Smith, who would be Thorstyn’s mentor for many years to come. Thorstyn looks up from the paper and remembers his old mentor as a kind Dwarf, yet very disciplined when in the smithy. Thinking of him summons mixed feelings and emotions.
Thorstyn decided to specialise in the forging of tools of all kinds, rather than in the crafting of weapons and armour. Did I decide that, asks Thorstyn himself, or did my father made sure I did that? Many years have passed since then, and his memories of his old home were clouded to say the least. He resumes.

It was there that Thorstyn met Ghralin, the son of his mentor, and they became friends for life. Ghralin was not fit for the life of a smith, or so he himself had decided, and was looking for a way out. Thorstyn, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed his life at the forges. He developed a certain talent for crafting the finest of tools, and with his talent came a reputation. It was in this period of time that he became known as Evernight, for he would not leave the smithy deep under the ground. It would often be months before he’d see the light of day again; instead he elected to be surrounded by eternal dark underground. Thorstyn smiles sadly. As if they had foresight, he thought. The name still applies to him now, even if he walks in the sun all the time.

Because of his reputation, people would oft come to visit him to see him at work, or to place an order. It was on a spring day (or was it night?) in 2914 (Third Age) that the fairest Dwarf maiden he had ever seen appeared in the smithy. Dark hair she had, and the brightest brown eyes he had ever seen. He knew he loved her from… Thorstyn feels his heart aching as he writes this. He’s not sure how much he’s willing to write down, nor how much he’s able to. He decides to leave it there. He knew he loved her from the moment he saw her.

17 years later, Thorstyn completed his education at the smithy, and started a small business of his own, not far from the place where he learned his trade. The business was fairly bustling, and he was able to create a steady and decent income for himself.

In 2936, when Thorstyn was at the age of 64, he and his wife were wed after a courtship of 22 years.Thorstyn wants to write more, but his hand stays. He can’t.

Two years later, the Grey Mountains are besieged by Orcs, Goblins and Wargs. Thorstyn and his wife were happily married, and were starting to think about expanding their family. Their home was invaded, their forces overrun by the sheer numbers of their enemy. Whilst fleeing for their lives, Thorstyn lost his wife in the chaos. Harstyn saw her last and followed her, but a stray arrow struck him in the eye, which he lost.Thorstyn remembers how his father grieved over the loss of his eye, but knows he realises he might as well have lost his life. Harstyn was 153 years old back then.

In the next four years, Thorstyn stationed himself at the edge of the Grey Mountains, as a part of the final defence of the Dwarves. Mount Gundabad was where the Dwarven Fathers awakened, and it is a sacred place to the Dwarves. The Grey Mountains would not be given up easily. But the numbers of their foes were too great. He quickly learned the art of forging suits of steel armour, to aid his brethren in battle. He did not fight himself, though. He waited for his wife to find him.

When it became clear that she would not show up, and the Dwarves were losing the battles against the Orcs and Goblins, Thorstyn crafted himself a suit of armour and a large shield and set out to search for his wife elsewhere. He knew for a fact that she had not perished in the war; he could feel her spirit still in the realm. He scoured the lands of Rhovannion for 47 years, travelling from the Iron Hills to Erebor, and venturing through Northern Mirkwood, where he was saved by a pack of Wargs by Felothad, who escorted him out of that dark forest. It was in this period where Thorstyn learned to defend himself and others. In the year 2990, Thorstyn decided to cross the Misty Mountains, hoping to find his wife in Eriador. When he reached the Blue Mountains, he met an old but influential Dwarf called Bolin, who helped him in founding the Unfinished Tales. Thorstyn eventually settled in Eriador to establish a base from where he can launch regular search expeditions. Bolin disappeared somewhere in this period. Thorstyn doesn’t think he still lives.

In the year 3019 (Third Age), Thorstyn, now at the age of 147, met a bold but friendly Man called Donhelm Graymare. He agreed to join Unfinished Tales. After that, many other joined the band of friends. Ghralin followed him to Eriador, who had found his calling as a wandering troubadour, as did Felothad, and some of Thorstyn’s relatives, such as Harstyn and his cousin Garbern. Under Thorstyn’s command, Unfinished Tales did not focus on military support to the armies of the Free Peoples, but rather to bolsten their courage and raise their morale.

Thorstyn puts down the quiver. This has been quite an emotional adventure for him. He notices Essea is sitting on a bench on the other side of the room, sipping a cup (filled with alcohol, undoubtedly), whilst looking at the Dwarf. He never heard him come in…

From the Chamber of Fire, Dellannan casually strolls into the Great Hall, carrying several scrolls in his hand. So enthralled has Thorstyn been with his work, that he had forgotten everything around him! He gently marks the scroll, and files it in the large bookshelf. His story is now immortalised – isn’t that what they say? After sighing, Thorstyn walks to Essea, who is already holding out a cup for him.

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