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Old 10-09-2006, 05:32 PM   #217
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3,121
Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.

He had been wrong. He had been dead wrong, about so many things. Right and wrong had seemed so simple to him for the longest time: he was right, the slaves were right, and the Orcs and all the slavers and those who worked for them were wrong. The line was never blurred, and always ran straight and true. But since they had decided on this journey to somewhere new, Khamir found himself lost somewhere in the grey, with only the black clearly on the other side, and the white yet to be found. Everyone had squabbled with each other over things that seemed simple, practical matters to the one-armed man. So many of them with the taste of freedom in their mouths seemed to already have forgotten the laws of this land, which had always been against them. There was never any goal other than survival until now. If only they could remember that it still was one, if only they hadn’t already forgotten the way they were able to escape.

His entire world was falling apart, and he felt prepared to give in to all the stubbornness within him that would force him to continue his aloofness from the others until he suddenly felt a pair of arms throw themselves around him. Khamir could only stare down at Shae’s form with surprise, and when she quickly let go, he was not of the mind to change his expression, much less voice anything he might have wanted to. He was saddened that she moved on nearly before he could blink, but thought it was probably for the best. Most likely if he had gotten any words out he would have regretted them. It seemed that was the way of things these days.

“It won't be long before the slavers arrive, ready to slaughter whoever stands in their way.”

Glancing over the motley crew known as the ‘Fellowship’ – which even included to little men whom he had to stare at quite a bit longer than the others – Khamir considered them practically doomed. But turning his head to look over the crowd of men and women and children he had traveled with for months now, his mind quickly changed. They had gathered themselves quickly, and he had to admit, they appeared a fiercer bunch than he ever thought they could, even if they were on the defensive for entirely the wrong people.

To think Gondor had come through on its promise. He glanced at Shae again, wondering if now was at all the time to apologize. Half of his attention was outward, half inward, as he tried to reconcile the two worlds. All that went on around him rushed by him too quickly for his mind to keep up with, particularly when it had just recently turned in on itself. He felt anger rise and ebb as the tide within him, pushing it down with nearly all his strength, and keeping himself from speaking up with what little remained.

Khamir felt foolish for just standing there, but perhaps that was all he should ever have done. Perhaps he should have simply stood there and listened, for once.

“They will not slaughter us,” he began in a low voice so that only Shae could hear him, and he would not interrupt any of the proceedings around him. “Things have changed, and it seems for the better.” He struggled to keep a certain amount of defeat out of his voice. This was not about him. And even if it was, he had one some kind of victory, as well. There was a short pause in which the woman searched Khamir’s eyes, and he for a moment allowed her. But he had to drop his eyes before he could speak again.

“I am sorry, Shae. I was wrong. Gondor did not fail us, you did not fail, we will not fail,” he gestured to encompass everyone, in particular all the former slaves. “I admire you,” he said suddenly after a second pause, after he could bring his eyes back up to hers, and quickly added, “your bravery.”

Turning away, a slight heat in his face confusing him, he focused on the various members of the Fellowship to dispel it quickly, watching with particular interest a man darker-skinned than the rest, and obviously of a similar origin to Khamir and many of the other slaves. What sort of man was he, to be in those others’ company, to be chosen by the King of Gondor, though he was a man of the South? A strange group, to say the least, but the one-armed man would do his best not to doubt Elessar any longer. He was obviously a good man and an excellent leader, and it was now equally as obvious to Khamir why he had never realized that himself until now: he had never truly begun to understand what that meant.
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