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Fell Beast

Chapter 1: The Beginning

by SpaceWeavil

Fell Beast

Author’s Note – This is not intended to be serious in any way. This was written in a ‘mad’ moment, and I just thought I would share, in case someone else might get a laugh from it. Although the canon facts are more or less intact, they have been treated with a slight amount of irreverence. I apologise now, in advance.



The following account was discovered during renovations in the Citadel of Minas Tirith, around the middle of the Fourth Age. The manuscript, found beneath a floorboard in the king’s bedchamber, along with several drawings of an anatomical nature, is believed to be the work of Findegil, King’s Writer of Gondor for King Eldarion, as his name was found scribbled on the cover, along with what appears to be a laundry list. The text concerns a very early scene, rightfully part of the history of the War of the Ring, which for some unspecified reason were not included in the Red Book of Westmarch, or in any subsequent copies. Why this episode was deemed unworthy of publication is unknown.


The two wraiths leaned over the heap of sticks, twigs and regurgitated ferrets to peer down on the egg. As neither wraith had bothered to dress that morning, both appeared completely transparent, yet the orcs around the outer edges of the room were still painfully aware of their presence, through the icy, fearful chill that surrounded them wherever they went. All was quiet. The orcs would never dare utter a sound when their masters were present, not without permission, and the two wraiths stayed silent through concentration.

The Witch King, in particular, stared down at the object within the heap. The pale blue, ovoid form rocked and shuddered gently as the being inside squirmed and tried to break free. There came a tap, and then a small crack appeared in the egg’s shell.

“At last,” breathed the Witch King. “You have done well, Khamûl, to find this. With one of Lord Gwahir’s eaglets under our control, we might achieve great things! Who will stop such a fine creature entering their realm? We shall train him, Khamûl. We shall nurture it in place of its mother and bend its will to our own. A servant of Sauron whose presence shall go unnoticed, perhaps even into the realms of the Eldar!”

Another tap, and this time a small section of the powder blue shell popped out, revealing something grey and writhing inside. Clear yellow liquid oozed down the side of the egg and dribbled onto the filthy, orc-made nest. The Witch King and Khamûl leaned in closer.

The egg jerked and rolled over, more cracks appearing, like black veins against its pale, matt surface. Another large section fell away and a scrawny, clawed limb poked through, grasping at the air. The creature made its first sounds, squawking loudly in a high-pitched, gurgling little voice. The eggshell crackled as the last fragments broke, and the baby creature wrestled free, covered in gelatinous fluids.

The Witch King frowned, though obviously, as an invisible being, this had very little effect on anyone. He caught the thing by the scruff of the neck and held it up. The newborn creature was about a foot and a half long, including its thin, rat-like tail, and had grey, wrinkled skin that was soft and tender, waiting for scales to form later in life. A pair of leathery wings lay folded against its back, too wet to be of any use for the moment, although, held aloft by the unseen King, it appeared to fly. Or at least hover. Two little limbs meanwhile wriggled beneath, trying furiously to find solid ground. A mouth full of tiny teeth gulped in air for the first time and continued to emit squawks at regular intervals, though its eyes remained firmly shut. It had no feathers.

“Where,” said the Witch King to Khamûl, “did you say you found that eyrie again?”

~*~

After an hour, the strange grey creature quietened a little and took to chewing on the remnants of its shell, while the Witch King and Khamûl, having dismissed their guards, sat on a rock, chins on fists, and watched it dully.

“So what is it?” asked the Witch King.

“An ugly eagle?” suggested Khamûl, still praying that the thing would do something aquiline in the next few seconds, before the Witch King became very annoyed.

The creature tossed a fragment of eggshell into the air and tilted back its head, mouth wide, to let the morsel fall straight down its throat. It then burped.

“Whatever it is,” sighed the Witch King, rising, “it is of no use to us. Kill it.”

Khamûl stood and wandered slowly to the nest. Although its eyes had not yet opened, the creature either heard, smelled or sensed him nearby, as it turned suddenly to face him, smacking its lips and gurgling quietly. Khamûl stared, yet had no idea why he should be frozen there, transfixed by this ugly little beast.

“Well?” said the Witch King, hovering (literally) by the door. “I said kill it.”

The beast opened its mouth and let out the most pathetic of mewing cries.

“Might it not be…of some use?” asked Khamûl.

“As what? Our entry into Middle Earth’s most hideous lizard competition?”

Khamûl continued to stare at the creature. The creature continued to stare at Khamûl, or at least it kept its head aimed towards him. It was still too young to see anything. The Witch King sighed again, secretly recognising those strange signs that infrequently appeared amongst their number. A few remnants of what they once were. A few strands of song still preserved within their dead essence. It was such a pain in the neck, he mused grimly.

“Could we not keep him?” asked Khamûl, and the Witch King almost spoke the words in unison, so certain was he of what Khamûl was thinking.

“No, Khamûl,” he replied. “Such a beast is not suited to a fortress of this nature. It will soil the flagstones.”

“But he could be trained.”

“How do you know it is a ‘he’?”

“Well…”

“Ah, now I think of it, I do not wish to know,” said the Witch King. “But it cannot stay.”

“Yet I shall take care of it,” promised Khamûl. “I shall make sure it is fed and watered and that it is exercised every day. Can we not keep him?”

The lesser wraith moved closer to his master, imploring him mentally.

“Can we not?” he asked again.

The beast mewed again in a very pleading manner.

“If I find it has made a mess,” said the Witch King finally, “I shall have the orcs clean it up, using your entrails as a rag.”

Khamûl secretly smiled, secure in the knowledge that the last of his entrails had rotted centuries ago.

“Then,” he said, returning to the creature, “I shall call you ‘Chwesteg’.”

Which as everyone knows, in the elven tongue, means ‘Fluffy’.

~*~



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Quick Note

‘Chwest’ as far as I can see generally means ‘air’ or a ‘puff of air’ but it was also listed as ‘fluff’ in one of my dictionaries, which is what started this whole silly story off. That and several discussions on the forum.

Also, I have listed this as ‘complete’ rather than WIP, simply because at the moment I haven’t decided if I shall continue Fluffy’s adventures. Suppose it depends how much I drink over the next few days.