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Old 08-09-2008, 12:16 PM   #263
Itinerant Songster
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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In the Dungeon

Uldor spoke.

His voice was quiet and cold. “What good has your song done for you, old man? If it is of use to you, why did you bother to tell Khandr anything if you knew he was going to die before he could do anything with it? Why not better have spent your time telling the elven ambassador? You failed.”

Thorn looked at Uldor with steady eyes. Here was the oldest brother, the one with the greatest ambition, the greatest power and presence. Ulfast paled by comparison to the evil, hunger, and cleverness in this one. This one chose scorn and mockery. He listened to the Song even as Uldor spoke, and as he considered his reply. It gave him his words now. He was content.

"You speak and judge, lord Uldor, as if you know the whole of my purpose. But you do not. I have done all that has been required of me, save one. It is this. Rid yourself of this buzzard of Morgoth that bears the face and form of a fetching lady. Do not put your hope in Morgoth Bauglir, for he will betray and destroy you. Be true to your vow to aid Lord Caranthir. Your aid may turn the tide for the Free Peoples. Your betrayal will lay waste all the land. Choose carefully, for your doom hangs on a thread, lord Uldor."

Uldor was at first inclined to be angry and to end this miserable interview, but he suddenly pause. This could be valuable to him. If Thorn knew the future because of the Song, perhaps Uldor could find out exactly what he should do to gain his desired end.

"What doom?" the Ulfing asked.

Jord stiffened. Buzzard of Morgoth indeed! If the old lunatic seeks to save his life, he does it ill. And yet, for all her scorn, she knew that Thorn had the power of truth on his side - which, for all its weaknesses, had an unpleasant manner of being persuasive at the most surprising and disruptive times. Unbidden, Thorn began to take form in her mind as a meek, yet strangely confident and masterful nemesis, in control despite his prison bars. She fought down a sudden surge panic. He is old, mad, and weak. Play your turn carefully, and he can pose no threat. She wished to appear unconcerned with the accusations leveled against her, and protest was all too often construed as a sign of guilt; so she kept her silence, and waited.

Thorn could tell that his words had made the servant of Morgoth bridle. He sensed her fear. Well she should; not because he was a threat, for he was just a servant of the Song. No, she should fear the truth, and the One to whom the Song pointed. But Uldor had asked a simple question. Thorn knew what he sought; the Ulfing lord would have to work harder than that.

"Your doom. If you betray the Eldar to Morgoth your name will live on in infamy, and the Ulfings will be wiped from the face of the earth by flood and fire. Should you be true to Lord Caranthir, you will reap what one may expect from the fields he sows in."

"Lord Caranthir battles against the most powerful being in the world. The fields he sows in seem to be promising only of defeat. I do not see victory possible, and to stand against Morgoth would be worse doom to me than to have my name live on in infamy." He stared down at the old man, and a slow smile played over his face. "Besides, you don't know what I have been promised."

Thorn found it amusing that this ambitious lordling of men what stoop to bandying an argument with a poor prisoner such as himself; but this betrayed the latent fear in Uldor, for all his grand words. Thorn's mouth spread in a slow smile.

"What matters it to a poor prisoner likely to see his death this day, what lies Morgoth Bauglir has told you? Whether he gives you a silmaril to wear, Dorthonion to lord over, be sure that you will be in his thrall and never know freedom again. Is betrayal worth such a price? Only a fool would pay it, and such I name you."

Uldor snarled and his left hand lashed out and caught the collar of Thorn’s tunic. He shook the old man furiously. “Fool! Fool! You’ll meet death - you’ll know him intimately by tomorrow! Lies - lies and treachery!” He threw him backwards at the guard who had been standing quietly beside the prisoner. “Take him - and use what slowest means you can to kill this worm - this - this” he couldn’t find an appropriate word for one who defiled Morgoth’s name with baseless accusations.

Or were they baseless? Before even Thorn’s punishment had begun, Uldor was already being tortured. Doubt and fear and hatred tormented him. He turned around, sent one, long look of hate towards Jord and Ulfast, and then stormed from the cell.
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