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Ch. 68 - A Horn of Special Magnificence
After the kill, Vorondil was able to look closely at the kine; the Hunter shook with excitement. He knew he had a treasure, a precious treasure. One of the kine’s horns was the largest he had ever seen; the other, sadly, was badly misshapen. Kneeling before the head of the beast, he cut off the superior horn. His friends cheered as he held it up. All knew the voice of this horn would be thunderous. Vorondil walked to the camp’s fire and threw the severed horn into a boiling pot of water.
Shortly thereafter, the camp settled and most of the men slept. Vorondil fished the horn out of the pot, dug the core out, trimmed the thin layer at the base, then began the tedious task of stripping the scale. Holding the horn in his lap, his practiced hand wielded the rasp, and in much shorter time than most other men would take, the horn was clean.
‘This Kine of Araw was indeed a fighter,’ Vorondil smiled in appreciation. ‘The gouges are deep and many. Even Oromë himself might have had a bit of trouble defeating it.’ It took another hour to file down those imperfections to Vorondil’s liking. There was yet much to be done, but he was satisfied, for the nonce.
He knew a conjurer who would write the ancient characters and speak the ancient words, a smithy, who would make the silver bindings, and a cordwainer who would fashion the baldric. Now, all that remained: return to Minas Anor and commission the work.
‘This will be the hunting-horn of the House of Vorondil; I will pass it down to my eldest, and he to his – generation unto generation.’ A flush of pure joy lit his face. ‘Never has Gondor seen such a horn as this will be!’
A/N – 1) Of course, this is the famous Horn of Gondor, carried by Boromir, son of Denethor II; 2) I am figuring this hunt took place at the very beginning of Vorondil’s Stewardship, or perhaps even a few years before. I don’t think he would have been traipsing about the Land of Rhűn as the Nazgűl were laying siege to Minas Ithil; 2a) Vorondil's Stewardship was a time of war and loss for Gondor. In only his second year as Steward, he saw the Nazgűl come out of Mordor and lay siege to Minas Ithil, and two years later (III 2002), they succeeded in capturing it and the Palantír it contained. 2b) Minas Anor changed to Minas Tirith in 2002. So in this tale, it is still Minas Anor. Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/v/vorondil.html; 3) Kine of Araw – horn bound with silver with ancient characters: http://www.henneth-annun.net/resources/things_view.cfm?thid=142 (ET herself contributed to this!); 4) Last but not least, I found this great site for making horns! http://home.att.net/~mman/PowderHornMaking.htm
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