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Old 09-12-2008, 02:19 PM   #276
Shade with a Blade
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
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"Stupid beast," said Crabannan, as he walked Horse back to the stable. The two plodded along together. Crabannan's brows were furrowed, but Horse seemed fairly pleased with himself. "Completely useless, except when your own hide is in danger." He grimaced. "I should sell you back to that farmer in East Emnet - though I doubt he'd take you."

Horse licked the back of Crabannan's head. Crabannan hollered, leapt aside, and raised his hand to clout Horse hard - but found he couldn't do it. Against his will, almost, he smiled bitterly, and patted the horse's strong jaw.

"Aye. At any rate, you're no more than I deserve. We suit well together, you and I."

Leaving Horse cleaned and watered in the stable, Crabannan returned to his tent, and sat down on his cot. He was skipping the other games for the time being - they seemed silly. There would be fighting and spear-throwing and archery later on, however, and these he looked forward to.

His month in Scarburg had been peaceful, but this irked him nearly as much as it refreshed him, for he found that he was clumsy and inefficient as a worker, despite being strong. The tools of peace did not lend themselves readily to Crabannan's hands and mind, and there was always someone who could do a job better than he, or faster. The result was a frequent and profound feeling of uselessness; he knew that he did not have a place in this peaceful village. He had wished more than once that the village would be attacked by marauders or by rival eorls. Then he would have had the chance to prove his worth - for his skills lay elsewhere, in the handling of weapons of all kinds, in fighting with his hands, in the finding of forest paths.

During this time, the harp had been a source of pleasure for him. Often, after dark, he would walk away from camp up onto the Scar and, when he believed himself alone, he would sit and play for an hour or so - sometimes longer - before returning. He played battle songs, love songs, funeral songs - songs of sadness or of joy, but all spirited, tunes he had learned as a young man in Dale. This did him good, for the music eased his spirit, even if it often encouraged his tendency toward melancholy.

Crabannan sighed and reached under his cot. He pulled out a long bundle, which he set upon the bed and then unwrapped, revealing a longbow and a longsword, both of fine quality and well-cared for. He set the sword upon his lap and, closing his fingers about the handle, half drew it. It felt right and comfortable; he hoped the swords they would use that afternoon would be of reasonable quality. For now, he would reacquaint himself with this one. It had been far too long.

And then he smiled, and, for once, it was without either irony or bitterness. He was content.

Last edited by Gwathagor; 09-12-2008 at 11:36 PM.
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