Not Beta Read

Notes: This mini story is the PREQUEL to my other story called "Last Hope of Mankind Book 1". Back in the year 2008 I got asked to write this prequel story, just to get a background story of Kaghed's life, the Warlord that took in Aragorn from the Book 1 story. The story's timeline will start and end like this: Kaghed's birth; his life with his mother & father; the murder of his father; his mother & his life with his uncle as Warlord; his mother's death; his life with his uncle afterwards; his dual that results of his Lordship to the Kingdom & tribe; the years of ruling and lastly his findings of finding Estel/Aragorn in the forest, saving his life.

I will warn you all that most of these chapters are poorly written as I found these written chapters in my old files out the blue and I figured "Why not post them?" I am sorry that it took me all these years to do so.

Kaghed's Era

Summary: Sub-Sequel to "Last Hope of Mankind Book 1". This mini story about Kaghed's life before Book 1. Let's us go back to the Second & Third Age, learn the Past & History of the Orc Warlord before he took in Estel as his son, the Heir of Isildur and descendant of Elros Tar-Minyatur.

Chapter One

Childhood: the period of human life intermediate
between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth -
two removes from the sin of manhood and three from ramose of age
—Ambrose Bierce

Second Age of Middle Earth
Year SA 3433 (8 years before the Start of the Third Age)
The Month of Mabon (1)
2,951 years before the Story of "Last Hope of Mankind"

Kagan, Warlord of Matryia and the tribe of Hellên Acerbus, wait patiently in his ger (tent) sipping salt tea from his cup. To anyone that doesn't know him well, they were think he was at peace, however it was not so. His first wife, Vazquez is in labor. He loved his first wife; the gift of child bearing was both a blessing and a curse, a curse that even Immortals could die from.

He glanced up to his other wife (2), Zarka (3) who sat beside him tending to their evening meal. He could tell that she was nervous about Vazquez's birth; glancing at the door waiting for Brura (4) to announce the birth of her friend's and her husband's child. It has been hours, how long does it take?

The two wait in silence. She stirred the pot over the fire, glancing over the exit of their home. Faintly they could hear the cries of a woman giving birth over the campsite. She flinches, thinking of her own time, if she ever gets pregnant. Kagan and she only got married a few months ago, many years to come to have a child. But she wanted a child so much; it would please her Lord by giving her a healthy child into the world. She always wanted a daughter, but what if Vazquez given birth a girl instead of a son? A son would be more praised then a daughter, a male to take over the throne then a woman. Zarka doesn't want to compete with her friend over which of their future children would rule in the future. Zarka would gladly give up the rights over to Vazquez's line, she is much stronger and her line is much praised by the Gods then her own blood.

However, she knew firsthand how greed and hate would overcome someone. To do things that normally would never do. If Vazquez only have daughters, never a son while she gives birth to a son, her son would see that he would the rightful heir, not any of his older sisters. There will be bloodshed, she knew. Zarka hopes that will never come to past.

Zarka placed her hand onto her flat belly, knowing that a child wasn't there, but the thought of having one still gives her comfort. She faintly smiled at the thought of a child growing inside her. The feeling warmed through her as she think this. She a very young only hit of adult hood at the time of her marriage. The young orc woman sighed again. Looking back, hoping that the young witch healer would walk through that door….

Brura too was still young; a few hundred years older than her, but still too young to be the Witch Healer, specially the one that is now leading the birth of the royal line. However with her mother's failing health from the previous attack a year ago, the responsibly falls to her. Zarka felt sorry for the young Witch Healer. With her father gone and now her mother too will soon follow, having such a responsibly in such a young age will not be easy, not to mention with two young sons to watch over. 'At least she has her mate.' Zarka thought to herself thinking of Lakhdar (5), Brura's husband.

"Be still, Zarka." Kagan told his wife, breaking Zarka's thoughts. He was annoyed of how his second wife. He knew of what she is thinking. Vazquez will be alright. He Know it.

"But husband. What if something is wrong during the birth?" Zarka asked him, her voiced coated with worry at the thought. What if Vazquez died? What will happen to her? And if the child lives, how will she care for the child?

"I trust Brura to care for Vazquez." Answered the Warlord. This will be the first birth that Brura ever helped before without her mother. However, Brura is a clever orc-woman. He knew Brura is ready to take over her mother's place within the Tribe.

"Of course, Zotan-lufutatar (Warlord)." The second wife said. Still she was worried.
There was cough at the door, as Kagan's younger brother Karguk stepped forward slightly bowing at his brother as he walked into the ger (tent). Much like his older brother, Karguk was tall, with broad shoulders with golden eyes that seem to glow in the dark. With long dark hair pulled into a ponytail (like most of all men of their kind), a weapon of choice to his hip. He also wore worn out looking clothing, made from fur and leather. Over his shirt he wore a ring mail that he scavenged from a dead human at the pervious battle the year before.

Karguk looked at his brother; a scowl was shown on his face, his own golden eyes showing the same hateful glare at his brother. Kagan pretend not to notice, as he served his youngerbrother a drink from the kettle from the fire. Karguk gladly took the cup, sitting across from his brother; ignoring Zarka, his brother's second wife. The two brothers never did like each other, Zarka knew. Fear crept through her as the brother sat across from them both.

"No news yet brother?" Karguk asked Kagan.

"No yet." Answered Kagan, annoyed that he does not know the condition of his first wife.

"You are not worried?" Karguk mocked him.

"I am, however the Gods showed me a vision last night. She and my son will fine."

"A son?" Karguk's eyes widen of what he was told.

Kagan didn't know what his younger brother was thinking. He knew that Karguk's wanted the throne, he has since they were children; however he was the eldest son. It is his birthright and he has already proven his worth as a Warlord. Having a son will continue the line and after him his son will be next in line of the throne.

"Having a son is a blessing." Answered Zarka trying to less the tightness of the air around them. This has always happen between the two. Zarka feared her husband's life. Since she can remember there was always something about Karguk she didn't like. She wasn't the only one; Vazquez, Brura and many other women in the tribe agrees.

"Of course." Karguk's snapped at her.

"Do not snap at my wife, brother. She has done nothing to dishonor you. Leave now." Kagan demanded.

Karguk didn't have to be told twice. He had left with a growl.

"My lord, I fear that he is trouble. I fear for your safety and your son's." Zarka told her husband after the brother left. Both she and Vazquez had told of this to Kagan many times now but he never listens. Ever since Vazquez became pregnant two years ago (6), the feeling of uneasiness got stronger around the fowl brother-in-law.

"I see your fear, my wife. But do not fear, my brother is capable of many things, but being a kin slayer is not one of them."

"Of course." Zarka said, hoping at he was right; for she wasn't sure.

Just then, their prayers were answered as Brura came into the ger (tent). True to Brura's blood line of her mother's, Brura looked much like her mother and others of the females from her blood; angelic like face (a rare oddity on their kind now a days), bright purple colour of eyes, light coloured brown hair and grey paled skin. Her light coloured hair was dyed in many colours throughout little strains of her hair, with bends imbedded into them. She wore a coloured del that came down to her knees, a long sleeved shirt that showed her muscular stomach with a fox head that was magick pouch that was safely tied under her belly button around her waist.

"Come you will, Warlord." She said, her voice was gentle. Kagan knew that he was now a father, the birth went well.

Calmly the Warlord followed the witch healer, leaving his second wife to her chores.

At Brura's tent his first wife Vazquez was sprung on Brura's bed; hot sweat coming down from her brow. She was smiling down to a little bundle that was close to her breast. Kagan stood slightly watching his wife nurse their newborn.

He was a father… It was foreign thought. This was their first child, his own first. He never put much thought of this for the past two years. Now that the child was here, after waiting for so long; another realization came to him. They haven't picked out a name.

"Leave I will." Brura said leaving the couple to their new child. She had duties to attend to other then caring for the royal line.

The Warlord stood near the exit, not wanting to disturb the beautiful scene in front of him; his beautiful wife caring for their child. So many thoughts are in his mind; was the child male or female? Is Vazquez okay? Of course she is, if not then Brura would still be here….

"My husband, come meet our son." Vazquez said, waving him to come forward.

Slowly the Warlord approached his wife, sitting beside her at the bed. Gently the female orc handed the young child to its father. So the child is male. He thought so; the Gods had told him so. Kagan didn't know how to hold the child in his arms. He was afraid he would break him.

"What will you call him?" she asked, looking so lovely down to her child.

Kagan finally looked down to his child. The sleeping child had dark hair, paled grey skin with a hint of pink, a good colour of a newborn. Sharp teeth were shown has the child yawned soundly, loving the way his father held him. (7)

When the child finally opened his eyes, both mother and father looked at the child in amazement. They were crimson, a rare oddity by its own self. Having this colour of eyes has not been seen in the Tribes of Orcs since the beginning of the First Age, since the first true Kings of Mordor and Matryia. This child needs a strong name, a name of their ancestor before them that ruled over their people…

"Kaghed…" Kagan found himself saying, as if their ancestors were specking for him.

"Kaghed." Vazquez said the name, testing it out on her tongue. "Named after the Warlord that saved our people long ago from Morgoth, the Valar Betrayer."

The current Warlord nodded and looked back to his newly named child, Kaghed.

"A long hard life our son will live. Why our son, Kagan? Our child did not have this colour eyes with no reason. The Gods… have they chosen our son to lead our people to greatness? Or bring our people to death? Why now, all this time? What will happen if he fails his destiny? Is it a sign that our people are doom to die?"

Kagan looked back to his wife, handing back their son to its mother. Vazquez held her child as if he was made of smoke, soon would disappear for her grasp. "The Age of the Elves are slowly thinning, my wife. And so are our people…." his voice spoke the truth.

They did not speak to another after that. They sat in silence watching young Kaghed nurse from his mother, unaware to the world around him and his density that before he was born was created from the Gods.

(End of Chapter)

Words: 2,459

(1) Mabon: Celtic Pagan Holiday that is traditional celebrated at September 21. It is Autumn Equinox, first day of Autumn, of which night and day stand equal. Also a Second Harvest Festival, that many Pagans today and Celts long ago celebrated this Holiday for harvest, death of the Sun God, day of magick due to the rare balance of light and dark. Also it is the time for thanks and learning, repairing all things.

(2) In many cultures men are permitted to practice polygamy of which a man can have more than one wife. Kagan is a Warlord, a king of sorts, so it would be logical for him to have more than one. Vazquez is his first wife, meaning that she would be more "rights" then the other wives. And that her children would be "above" any other children from the other wives.

(3) Zarka: I got the name from a WoW (War of the Worlds) thread from the username called Sheza.

(4) Brura: the Tribe's witch healer from the story "Last Hope of Mankind Book 1".

(5) Lakhdar: a male name that I thought looked orc-ish.

(6) To me, both orcs and elves are pregnant close to two mortal years. If you are Immortal with a very long span of life, why not have long span of pregnancy as well?

(7) Being in the womb for two years, one would think that the child would already of teeth, hair, and unchangeable eye colour? I figured as such.

Table of Contents in the Black Speech:

Bhûllûk (accept son)
Bosnauk/Narish (ally/friend)
Krank (father)
Lobmau (female warrior)
Loburuk (female orc)
Lûb (daughter)
Lûk (son)
Shardâg (human child)
Shatraug (witch)
Urukdâg (orc child)

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