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Old 11-07-2006, 12:37 AM   #248
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
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By mid-afternoon, most of the preparations were completed. The men had nothing left to do but wait. An uneasy feeling hung over the camp. Even Dorran and Lindir, the two members of the fellowship who had often been in situations like this, seemed impatient and tense.

Lindir felt uneasy. He had heard nothing from Rôg or Aiwendil, although the istar had promised to send back a message by pigeon the moment that the slavers appeared The elf was acutely aware that their attackers held the upper hand in the coming conflict. Despite their smaller numbers, the slavers were experienced fighters wielding sturdy swords and daggers and charging forward on the backs of horses. When compared with these battle hardened veterans, the escaped slaves seemed little more than a rag tag bunch of refugees who lacked horses or decent weapons. Most of the men had never even been in battle. Nor was everyone able to fight. Earlier that afternoon, Lindir had led a contingent of children and women, along with the sick and elderly, over to a small cove of boulders located near the rear of camp. The shelter provided by the large rocks was not ideal but the best they could manage on the flat, open plain.

All this lay heavy on Lindir’s mind as he paced about on the edge of camp, intermittently turning to stare towards the east. A short distance away, he could just make out the outline of the trench they had constructed. Vrór and Carl had done an excellent job supervising the digging. Men and women had thrown their hearts and backs into the endeavor; the tunnel was perfectly shielded and blended into the ground so that an approaching rider would have no idea of the disaster that lay underfoot. Even here, however, Lindir could see one problem. The trench was no more than fifteen feet long. What guarantee did they have that the slavers would ride their horses in that exact direction? What was to stop them from approaching camp a few paces to the right or left and totally missing the pit?

It was then that the idea struck him. He knew it was dangerous.....far too dangerous....and he could not imagine asking anyone to do this. Yet at the same time, when so much hung in the balance, he could not overlook the fact that this arrangement might save many precious lives. What they needed was a human decoy, someone willing to serve as an enticing piece of bait, preferably an unarmed woman who would stampede across the field of battle and lure the slavers onward to the exact spot where the perilous trench lay. That individual would need to be an excellent rider with a clear, cool head.. The elf hurried over to Dorran, pulling the man of Rohan to the side, and confided his fears and concerns about the coming battle, especially in relation to the trench. With some hesitation, Lindir inched on to the second part, explaining the idea about the decoy, how the slavers would be led on to their certain doom, and a great number of lives could be saved.

At first, Dorran said nothing and fixed his gaze on the ground. He could not dispute the very real wisdom of what Lindir was saying. Many, many lives could be saved if the slavers could be directed towards the pits in this way. But there was another question that hung heavy on his mind. He sighed and softly asked, “Who then would you order to do such a deed?”

“Order? How could I order anyone, especially a fair woman, to embark on such a dangerous path. No, this could not be an order. It would have to come from the heart of whoever volunteered to do this brave thing.” The two men looked at each other, both hesitent to say anything more.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 11-07-2006 at 07:19 AM.
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