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Old 06-30-2007, 07:56 PM   #71
Itinerant Songster
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
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It had been as simple as breathing to keep in mind the locations of the three women who had dreamed and then fled into the wilds. Maegeleb sauntered through the forests along the slopes of the White Mountains. The two closest women were the earless one, and the mapmaker whom he had not harmed, yet.

Pity, they were lost. The mapmaker knew which way they were facing on these slopes, give her that much credit, but she had lost her bearings as to where they were in relation to anything she knew. The earless one was completely dependent on the mapmaker, and surely would have given up and laid down had they not stumbled upon each other. Fortunate for them.

Even more fortunate that he was about to take them in charge. They lay on beds of pine needles that they had made for themselves, in exhausted sleep. They had both gone to sleep hungry, having no skills for game-catching. At least in his care they would not starve; as long as they served his purpose. He sat down across from them, his back against the tree, and waited for them to waken.

When dawn came it was the earless one who woke first, and recognized him as soon as she had wiped the sleep from her eyes. Her whimper had wakened the other.

"What do you want?" asked the mapmaker.

"Your cooperation. In return I will help you survive your own stupidity, rushing off into the wilds unprepared." He raised a hand to stop the mapmaker's retort. "Do not reject my aid too quickly, for if you refuse I will have no mercy. You may consider yourselves my captives. Yes, again. Have you any questions?"

"Wh-what are you going to do with us?" asked the earless one.

"I'm going to make you serve my needs and desires, whatever they may be. As long as you do, you will live and not suffer . . . overmuch. Now up. We will cover a league or two before we break our fast."

The women looked at each other. The mapmaker proved the leader of the two, and with an exchange of glances convinced the earless one to cooperate.

"Well done, Bellyn. You show wisdom. Let us go. You will follow me and make no false moves, for I have you in my mind and will know every move you make before it can amount to anything."

He made off westward and upward into the White Mountains, and the two women followed.
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