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Old 04-05-2007, 04:07 PM   #364
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.
First come, first serve...

The party had set out as early as they could, though still weary from the previous day’s battle, and some also from the tears that followed. Those still able-bodied had collected the bodies of their fallen friends, and had placed them with deepest care and respect on the funeral pyre whether they had known them or not. Many still could see the flames when they closed their eyes, and Beloan wondered if any of his companions had slept any better than he had. He had slept, and it had not taken long for him to fall into empty dreams, but it had been far from a restful sleep.

When they set out it was still mostly dark, and no one welcomed the sun as it crept up above Ephel Dûath. They were guided by Lindir back to the slavers’ camp, and Beloan tried his best to be optimistic not only about their victory but also about the opportunity it had opened up to them. The Easterlings were not only looters of men but of anything that might be of worth, and there was no doubt they had left most of it behind. The former slaves and Fellowship would have to travel light as they continued their way North, but perhaps there would even be a cart of use to them, even a pack animal? Beloan hoped there would at least be food and water.

Despite their weariness the scouting party arrived at the slaver camp while it was still quite early in the day, a silent pride helping to maintain their strength. They had after all defeated their foe, even though such a battle was part of what they were trying to escape. The group’s spirits were high as they entered the camp, but an uneasiness spread quickly through each person when Lindir motioned for them to stop. Beloan softened his steps but did not stop moving, until he caught sight of bodies lying on the ground in the middle of the camp.

“They’re orcs,” Lindir whispered.

Beloan’s hand immediately reached for his knife. “Dead, or…?”

“Just asleep, it seems,” the elf replied.

Beloan crept forward, to see better for himself, and came close enough to see without doubt that the creatures were still breathing. He considered stepping from one body to the next and slitting their throats, knowing that if they woke up he and his companions might easily be overcome. He counted the orcs, and determined that the Men, Elf, and Hobbit would be in a dire situation if they had to fight: six full grown males against their tired twelve, which included younger members, was undeniably necessary to avoid. But he could not kill a sleeping enemy, particularly when this enemy had not attacked him yet. That would be too much like them, too much like these orcs, or worse.

It did not take long to realize why a group of orcs was passed out on the ground in the daylight, as Beloan noted the empty jugs and bottles around them. He smirked at the thought of how many men would be disappointed to learn that they would not be getting anything to celebrate with out of this camp. Suddenly Lindir was beside him, and Beloan was lucky he only jumped slightly, producing only a slight scraping noise from his boots. “Drunk,” Beloan whispered, and Lindir nodded. “Hopefully drunk enough to be hard to wake,” the man added.

The two quietly slipped back to the others, and were immediately faced with questions. Beloan gave anyone a murderous look who thought they should raise their voices above a quiet murmur, and his eyes darted around them and his ears strained for any sight or sound of possible friends of the sleeping orcs’. Lindir checked their surroundings as well before informing everyone of the new occupants to the camp they thought they had won.
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