TORMENTS OF MIND AND BODY
May 11, 3020
At precisely 7 o'clock in the morning on May 11th, Frodo hears a heavy knock at his sitting room door. Without waiting for him to answer, Master Guntha marches into the room, followed closely behind by Rian carrying Frodo's breakfast tray. Rian sets the tray upon the table and waits by the side. Guntha sees Frodo writing in a book and a look of displeasure crosses his face. "No time, shakh, no time for thing like that! Shakh must must break fast, eat few thing and make ready for perfection of body."
He looks at the uncomprehending expression
on Frodo's face. Puzzled, he asks, "What! You no make understanding
of Guntha' words?"
Frodo portrayed by Hobbitness
Rian, Dirar and Azal portrayed by Eowyn
Narrator, Guntha, Alwan the Trainer and Master Raznag portrayed by Angmar
Frodo: *Frodo hastily puts his book into
a desk drawer, starting guiltily* Oh!...*nervous chuckle* I'm
sorry *he is training himself to say what Guntha wants to hear--no
matter what Frodo may privately think His book is an account of
his Quest and his imprisonment in Mordor as it really happened,
along with recollections of Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Bilbo, and
his friends he has lost in Mordor... Ceolwulf, Elfhild, Elffled,
Vardamir, Arnasa, Lilandra, Aldir....the list continues to grow,
and Frodo is determined to do what he can to stop that. His grief
for all these friends is worsened by his new worry for Elfhild,
Elffled and Arnasa. They were supposed to be returned to him in
March, but it is now May!...He wants to ask Guntha more about
them, but after the last time he talked about the matter a few
days before, he feels that he will never learn the truth.*
Frodo: *Frodo plasters a gracious smile on his face* I do understand you. I will be in the courtyard on time. *groans inwardly*
Guntha: Shakh's body is weak from great sloth and food in amount of too much. There is no firmness of mind to his. We change all that! *Guntha exclaims, and then he hands Frodo a carefully written sheet of parchment entitled, "Bill of Day's Affairs."*
The parchment reads:
6 o'clock in the morning - Shakh rises from bed
7 to 7:30 o'clock in the morning - Shakh eats breakfast
7:45 to 8:25 o'clock in the morning - Shakh exercises in the courtyard.
8:30 o'clock in the morning - Shakh has repast with Guntha for an hour.
9:30 to 11 o'clock in the morning - Shakh taught the history Middle Earth, according to the Master, by a tutor
11 o'clock in the morning to Noon - Shakh taught the history of the East by a tutor
Noon - Shakh eats lunch
1 to 1:45 o'clock in the afternoon - Shakh has a light sleep aided by draught
1:45 o'clock in the afternoon to 2 - Shakh has fifteen minutes to get to the courtyard
2 o'clock in the afternoon - Shakh exercises for an hour and forty-five minutes
4 to 4:45 o'clock in the afternoon - Shakh has forty-five minutes to himself
5 to 6:45 o'clock in the evening - Shakh has a light exercise in the courtyard
7:00 to 8 o'clock in the evening - Shakh eats dinner with Guntha
8:15 to 9 o'clock in the evening - Shakh rides or walks with Guntha and an escort across the Pelennor Fields until dark, or if there are visitors or a party, they are involved in that
9 o'clock in the evening - If shakh is still awake, he spends the rest of the evening with Guntha and whomever he allows him to see, after asking permission of course. Then if he is still able to stay awake, he can go to bed.
Frodo: *Frodo's eyes widen in dismay and
fury. His whole life is plotted out by the hour, nay, the half
hour! And it will consist of nothing but what they call "exercise,"
but what is really humiliation and harassment; and of listening
to endless accounts of Mordor's propaganda. He is already exhausted
and sore, and now he realizes there will be no rest for him in
the foreseeable future. How will he even have time to think with
all this?! He leans his head on his hand, closes his eyes and
sighs deeply, then turns to Guntha with a wordless gesture of
Guntha: *He reaches down and takes his cup of tea and brings it to his lips, sipping* My Master and yours, shakh, shall bring order to your life. Too long, shakh, that his mind weave over path of useful nothingness. Now shakh learn the truth path of knowledge *he looks at Frodo and smiles*
Frodo: *The paper crinkles under Frodo's clenched fist when Guntha mentions "their Master." But Frodo stifles any further reactions, for he figures it is fruitless to argue, and he should get used to ignoring such talk, since he will have to endure it constantly. He smiles awkwardly, but cannot meet Guntha' eyes for very long.*
Guntha: Quick, shakh, make hurry. You no eat food that make you robust and gain wisdom. Green plants and water make you strong. You will eat this every morning and become wise and strong. No meat, no bread, no wine. Just green plants and water. Soon time for training. Make haste!
Frodo: *Frodo looks forlornly at the meager portion of lettuce and the glass of water. He eats it but is still very hungry. How will he last through the "training" without a proper breakfast? Nostalgically he thinks of the wonderful breakfasts in the shire...bacon, eggs, pancakes, tea, desserts...sometimes pipeweed afterwards. He used to eat two hearty breakfasts. Now he doesn't even get one!*
Guntha: Shakh, time runs down in clock. Finish quickly. Alwan and Dirar make ready for your enrichment. Make haste. Take staff, go now! You now have fifteen minutes to go to courtyard!
Frodo: *Frodo quickly drinks the glass of water, then grabs the staff, which leans against the wall. Before he leaves he pauses to glance at Rian. The thought plagues him: "I could have been in the Shire by now. I could have escaped all this." But he did not go because of his friends here, and the sight of them makes it easier to bear. He realizes he is looking strangely at her, so he forces a smile, then begins lugging his staff, which is 6 feet tall, towards the courtyard and his tormentors.*
Rian: *Rian smiles sympathetically to Frodo as the little halfling struggles to keep his staff aloft. No one should be put through this torture, especially not one who does not deserve it. She wishes she could help her master some way, but she fears she would be punished.*
Frodo: *Frodo already strains to lug the towering, heavy staff down the corridors of Baggins Hall, across the yard, and to the stables. He is panting by the time he reaches Alwan and Dirar*
Captain Alwan: *Captain Alwan and Corporal Dirar lounge against the shady side of the stable wall, waiting for Frodo.* We have been waiting for you. Now let's see if you have toughened up any since yesterday. So far, disciplinary action is required. You failed to salute me. Corporal, you know what to do...
Frodo: *Frodo's heart thuds as he experiences the familiar feeling of wondering what the fiends will do to him today.*
Dirar: *Carrying a staff, he walks over to Frodo, and hits him over the left shoulder with it.* Now salute the captain, maggot, unless you want another dose!
Frodo: *Frodo staggers to the right when his left shoulder is hit. Disciplinary action indeed. Gritting his teeth, he salutes as they taught him, standing tall with his fist clasped over his chest.*
Captain Alwan: Now, maggot, what did you learn yesterday? What do you say as you march? *he asks harshly*
Frodo: *Instinctively he takes a step back, then glares at them. Bowing his head he says quickly* One two three four I love the Shire but I love Mordor more *They're no better than orcs to enjoy such humor, he thinks.*
Captain Alwan: *He looks over to Corporal Dirar* We are going to enjoy this, aren't we, corporal? First, pig, loosen up those muscles! Go down on the ground, lift yourself up twenty times on your hands and toes! We will work the fat off you, in quick time! And if you are slow, Corporal Dirar will encourage you *he smiles at the corporal*
Dirar: *Corporal Dirar walks over to Frodo, brandishing his staff* Get down on the ground before I pound you into it!
Frodo: *Frodo's eyes widen, but then he obeys, seething. He lies on his stomach, then tries to push himself up on his hands and toes. It is difficult to manage at all. After a few tries he groans and shakes with the effort, wondering how he will manage twenty repetitions of this. But he continues trying in fear of Dirar.*
Dirar: *Dirar walks over and leers at Frodo, then taps him on the back with the end of the staff* Move it, maggot!
Frodo: Errrrrrahhhh...*he groans as he struggles to complete the repetitions.*
Captain Alwan: *After a half an hour of strenuous exercise encouraged by many tappings on the back and occasional blows to his left shoulder, Captain Alwan announces* All right, dog, how do you feel? Getting your body fit at last, you lazy halfling?
Frodo: *Exhausted, dripping, hungry, thirsty and in pain, he nods halfheartedly.*
Captain Alwan: *Another half-hour of agonizing exercises passes, and Captain Alwan announces* You are dismissed, halfling. We will see you again at 2 in the afternoon
Frodo: *Dreading the next episode of this, Frodo slides down the wall, feeling he hasn't enough strength to do anything more than just sit there. But the guards glare at him so he struggles to his feet and starts for the house. They sternly remind him to either take his staff or be whacked with it, so he carries it with difficulty back to the house with him. He leaves it in the hall, remembering that Guntha doesn't like him to bring it into the sitting room. He staggers into the room, hoping there will be something to drink in there.*
Master Raznag: *There is a cup of tepid water on the table for Frodo, and a goblet of wine near a small, tawny skinned man.* Pray sit down, shakh. Let me introduce myself. I am Master Raznag of Rhûn. Many know my reputation as loremaster. I have come here to be your tutor and I shall go with you to the end of your journey.
Master Raznag: *He looks down at a book that is open before him.* See this book? This is the true story of the beginning of Eä, all there is. Forget all the lies that you have been told by the elves or foolish men. You will learn now of the true Beginning. *He looks up from his book at Frodo* Now drink, refresh yourself.
Frodo: *Frodo drinks the water slowly this time to avoid the pain caused by gulping it down quickly. He decides not to answer this man unless it is absolutely necessary. He doesn't want to appear to believe these "lessons," but he will have to say what they want him to say. When he finishes the water, he nods, pretending to be interested...but mostly thankful for this rest.*
Master Raznag: *Master Raznag taps the open book before him and looks intently at Frodo, his dark eyes inscrutable* What now have you learned of the Beginning?
Frodo: *Normally Frodo would plot his answers carefully, but his exhaustion impedes this effort.* Um....the Great Music.
Master Raznag: Ah... *he says as he strokes his beard* you know about the Music, but what you have been told are all lies. You know the name of the Accursed One, Eru? *he asks*
Frodo: *struggles to keep from rolling his eyes, says blandly* Yes.
Master Raznag: This One shall hence be called the Nameless One. It is a lie, a tale concocted by the Valar to deceive men and to lead them astray. Melkor is the Creator of all that there Is. Say His name
Frodo: *Frodo chafes at the blasphemy. To think of calling Eru the Nameless One! He has never in his life uttered the name of Melkor. It is considered a grave wrong to do so. He lowers his head and mumbles some nonsense that sounds like "Melkor," hoping the man will think he really has said it.*
Master Raznag: I cannot hear you. Speak louder *He says, cupping his hand behind his ear*
Frodo: *Frodo shifts uncomfortably, then sighs. He cannot keep the tone of loathing from his voice*....Melkor. *The name sends chills all through him.*
Master Raznag: Repeat *Master Raznag commands*
Frodo: *His resolve breaking, Frodo snaps angrily* Why?
Master Raznag: *He looks at Frodo in disbelief and anger* Why? Because He is the Lord of Arda and you will learn to honor Him! If not, the consequences are most unpleasant. Perhaps a journey East, in that case, to answer to your Master.
Frodo: *Frodo gasps and sags slightly in his chair in utter terror, then straightens and repeats through clenched teeth* Melkor
Master Raznag: Say it again! *He commands*
Frodo: *prays that the Valar and the One will forgive him for this....* Melkor...
Master Raznag: Now repeat after me *he says in a nasal monotone* Out of Darkness the world was made. For Darkness alone is worshipful, and the Lord thereof may yet make other worlds to be gifts to those that serve him, so that the increase of their power shall find no end. It is He whose name is not now spoken; for the Valar have deceived you concerning Him putting forward the name of Eru, a phantom devised in the folly of their hearts, seeking to enchain Men in servitude to themselves. For they are the oracle of this Eru, which speaks only what they will. But He that is their master shall yet prevail, and He will deliver you from this phantom; and His name if Melkor, Lord of All, Giver of Freedom, and He shall make you stronger than they.
Frodo: *Frodo gapes at the blasphemous words. How could Darkness create the world, which is full of beauty? It makes no sense, and it would be wrong to repeat those words! He shakes his head* I cannot say those things!
Master Raznag: When do you wish to embark upon your long journey East? *he asks and smiles at Frodo* Perhaps you wish to discuss this with our Master? *he asks*
Frodo: No, no....*groans and wrings his hands*....All right *he concedes quietly. Hanging his head, he repeats the words about Melkor after the man in a soft, defeated voice.*
Master Raznag: Again *he commands him, looking down at his book*
Frodo: *His eyes begin to sting and the words start to swim on the page as he reads it aloud again.*
Master Raznag: Yet one more time, so the completion may be realized. This is the way of the great loremasters, repetition of a fact over and over by the student. Do you understand?
Frodo: *The cacophony of horrible words sounds all through his mind, reminding him of the all-pervasive voice of the One Ring. Trying not to betray his thoughts, he nods to the man* Yes. *He recites the text a third time, mechanically, in a monotone.*
Master Raznag: Now after the lesson is over for the day, I have books for you to read *he points to a stack of books on the table* You will take them with you. They will reveal the truth to you. There will be an assistant who will help you learn. *He points to an orc across the room* Azal is his name. He can read and he will watch to see that you study the books. Now I have some questions to you to see how well you have learned the lesson for today. Who created everything?
Azal: *The orc walks over behind Frodo, tapping the whip against his thigh* Answer correctly, or have the answer carved somewhere in your stinking flesh.
Frodo: *Frodo turns to the man* I, I, I.....don't mind going back, really....*he says with a great effort*....But, if I go back there, they will kill my fr--...my servants, won't they? *If I say these things, perhaps it will be true that I broke under torture and have transferred my loyalties to Melkor and Sauron!!*
Master Raznag: Your slaves will go with you to Lugburz and there you will watch your slave women ravished before your eyes and then all of your servants shall be killed slowly before you, one by one, even those who have gained sanctuary in Minas Morgul. Your slaves Vardamir and Ceolwulf were captured recently and they already await you there. *Raznag says, lying to Frodo*
Frodo: What?! Oh no!! *He slumps forward and shields his eyes with a hand. His face contorts and he fights back tears. He can hear the servants who remain in his house chattering in the corridors.... he answers resignedly* Darkness created the world
Master Raznag: Shakh, you are incorrect, proving that you have not listened to the lesson. Therefore, you will stay until you learn. The correct answer should be Melkor made the world out of Darkness, and He is the Lord of Darkness.
Azal: *Standing behind Frodo, the orc cracks the small whip.* Get it right next time, maggot, or prepare to suffer. *Though Frodo cannot see it, the orc's hideous mouth is turned up in a leer, and his eyes gleam as he contemplates which torment would bring the Halfling the most pain.*
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