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Old 07-08-2006, 05:41 PM   #46
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Novnarwen's post - Eirnar

After days of marching, Eirnar was starting to recognise a feeling he was all too familiar with; exhaustion. Having escaped from the plantations more than three years ago, he had thought and hoped that the years of slavery had vanished from his mind and that he would never have to be reminded of those years he had spent in turmoil. For a great period of time, he had indeed forgotten, or rather ignored, the marks these years had imprinted on him, but as he struggled to keep up the pace, despite his relatively young age, it was all coming back; working long days on the fields and the punishment as soon as he’d shown weakness; this heavy, dark cloud that hung over him them, also seemed to overwhelm him now. Those years could never be fully ignored, Eirnar realised bitterly, having defined who he was today. Eventually, he would be forced to accept it however, no matter how long he had tried ignoring and postponing it.

Looking around, he spotted Aedhild. She had arrived a few weeks before their departure from the caves. She had been in a terrifying state; her eyes bleary and wild with exhaustion. He had also discovered something else, which he believed had become obvious to most of the ex-slaves in due time; a fragility and a sadness he couldn’t recognise in any of the others... and madness… Oh! he still wasn’t sure. Somtimes she was like thunder itself on a sour, dreary autumn day, and other times she was completely calm. No one had been able to learn where she came from, and he doubted Aedhild knew it herself. For the last couple of days, ever since she recovered from unconsciousness, she had been silent, hardly muttering a single word to anyone. Her only question to Eirnar when she awoke had been whether it had been a fit again, “…this time it felt so different,” she had added weakly. “Yes, it was a fit… Don’t worry. You will be all right,” he had lied, biting his lip. He didn’t regret having lied to her; he feared the consequences the truth would have; would she then have a fit? Would she attack him once more? Would he be forced to strike her unconscious again? Shortly after, a man named Raegonn had asked why he had lied, obviously having overheard his reply. At first, Eirnar had been unable to answer, ashamed... but yet, not ashamed, he’d been… terrified, yes, that was it. He had indeed been terrified about this... life, what this life had done to him. “Had I really any other choice?” he’d finally asked, in truth referring to both the fact that he had struck her and then lied about it. At this, Raegonn had shrugged, waited and tapped his shoulder soft with his hand, as if in approval. No one of the others had spoken a word of the incident, and of that Eirnar was glad. Aedhild would never know the truth, and though he would and could never be proud of his actions, as hot-headed as he had been, it would be best if it remained this way.

As they approached the camp and made ready to settle in for the night, Eirnar couldn't help noticing how some of the children and the elderly were struggling. They were beyond doubt the most vulnerable. Naturally, this was to be expected. In an unknown country, where there were no obvious places they could quickly hide or take shelter, they were all easy targets for the enemy; in truth, in this landscape, they were complely lain bare for the enemy to see. It surely was insanity, and whose idea it had been in the first place, he did not know. Personally, he hadn’t been delighted by the suggestion of leaving the caves behind, he had been horrified. They had been waiting for the promised aid from Gondor, and although it had not arrived in due time, Eirnar had no doubts in his mind that King Elessar wouldn’t fail them. He had heard stories of this man, few of course, but they were enough to stun the most sceptic of men; he was a real King, who lived and breathed for his people. Both a Gondorian in flesh and heart, he had no right and would in truth be ashamed to think otherwise.

“Raegonn!” he called, breathing heavily. The dark haired man turned to face Eirnar.

“Are you all right?” he asked, slowly. “You look rather dreadful if I may be so bold to say so..” Raegonn hesitated, as if wanted to say something more.

“Heh. I’m good. No worries, though the marching does seem to bring back a lot I hoped I had forgotten…” Eirnar fell silent, not knowing how to proceed; how he hated these embarrassing moments, where he couldn’t quite find the right words or the right tone to say them in. Raegonn seemed to think the same, and being a polite, young man, he nodded in understanding.

“Makes you wonder,” Eirnar suddenly said, “who suggested this in the first place,” he continued with something that was supposed to be a laugh. Noticing himself the lack of sincerity and seeing Raegonn narrowing his eyes (whether intentionally or not, Eirnar didn’t know), he added quickly, “Oh, don’t worry. I won’t… ehm.. strike anyone...” This seemed to break the ice somehow, and Raegonn smiled faintly.

“Mhm. I first heard it from Khamir. A good man, with great dreams. A born leader.” Raegonn's pale cheeks seemed to glow for a moment, although Eirnar could might as well have imagined it.

“True. Surely, we all have dreams… I was just curious about where we were heading, where our dreams and hopes are to be fulfilled…” Eirnar said grinning.

Raegonn chuckled and turned away to prepare for the night.


Though the night had enclosed on them, Eirnar lay half awake. The pain of his aching limbs didn’t seem to bother him as much anymore; something quite else was on his mind.

Eirnar was not a particularly bright man, nor was he stupid either. He had observed Khamir and the others from the very beginning, but he had to admit that Khamir, especially, had caught his attention. Although he had failed to see the extraordinary leadership skills he supposedly possessed, Eirnar had observed him with interest; it seemed that the young Southron in some way had managed not only to gain trust, but the others also seemed to respect him for reasons yet unknown to Eirnar. In which situation had Khamir so clearly stood forth and thus earned this respect? How had he come to be the one deciding to leave the caves? How had he managed to convince them all to leave? The caves had been their shelter, the only safe place they had known for months and months, and now, this man, had taken them away from it. Eirnar couldn’t quite understand any of it; why the men, women and children’s eyes, when gazing upon him, were filled with such warmth; it reminded him of an admiration close to idolization. Undeserved, Eirnar concluded, he must surely have manipulated his way to their trust and respect. Painfully was also the fact that he was a Southron. Was there any of the other escapees who recognised him from the life at the plantations… as a slave…

Although, Eirnar didn’t know at this point, there was something, something which he couldn’t quite define with words yet, and so all of it would remain thoughts. For now.


Durelin's Post: Night

It had been a long day of marching for the former slaves, and though their bodies were tough and their minds determined, the weariness was clear on practically all of their faces. When the sun was a fireball above the distant mountains to the West, Khamir began looking for a place to rest for the night. When he could, he tried to find a place that was somehow indiscriminate. He knew the night was not safe; the day was not really either, but the night was different. It was in darkness that most Orcs felt comfortable, and it was in darkness that every type of being tended to do evil.

There was little to choose from for a place to rest, and Khamir was forced to settle with an area in between to small hills. The gap between the hills was large, plenty large for sixty-five people to settle down around a few different fires. Beloan had pointed out more of the men and boys that he determined could be among the defenders, and each was now equipped with some kind of knife, spiked club, or rough axe that was meant for chopping wood, and used for that too. It took a great deal, but Khamir was persuaded to let at least one or two of the boys take one of the watches that night. The one-armed man had divided up the night into five rough sections, five watches, and he determined that by the start of the third watch, and at the latest before the start of the fourth, all fires must be out. There was no sense in leaving a beacon. They didn’t need any kind of rescue you find in Mordor.

Adnan, fifteen years old, was on the third watch. He had spoken so boldly about how he wanted to take one of the watches, and how he would protect the camp, how nothing would get past him, how he would lead the defenders to drive back any forsaken creatures that attacked… Beloan had told him not to get his hopes up. Now, Adnan dearly wished that man was beside him again. He curled himself up, drawing his knees up to his chest, wrapping his arms around his legs. One hand gripped the knife he had been given as if his life depended on it. If there was one thing to be sure of, it was that the blade wasn’t leaving his hand. Whether or not he would be able to use it, though, was an entirely different question.

The kind of quiet that settled on Mordor in the night was not the most peaceful one. And with the moon in its second week of waxing, there was enough light to play tricks on anyone’s eyes. Adnan jumped at any noise, any sign of movement, for what felt like hours. His body was tense, every muscle overly prepared to move. Over and over, the boy wondered what would happen if he was unable to warn the camp of an attack. His throat was dry, it felt swollen shut, and he had to force his swallows down. He was certain his voice would fail him when he had to call out. He wouldn’t even be able to scream before his throat was slit and the Orc marauders, the Easterling bandits entered the camp and slaughtered the rest. And all because of him.

All the fires were out, as Khamir had ordered. Adnan really was alone. His only comfort was found in the soft rhythm of breathing, the sound nearest him. Focusing his ears on the beat helped his own breathing slow, his heart rate drop to something a little more normal, and his sight begin to blur. His head felt heavier and heavier until he felt no more at all. His breathing matched the rhythm of the night around him, and the moonlight disintegrated into pitch…

Last edited by piosenniel; 07-12-2006 at 11:32 AM.
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