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Old 11-06-2006, 12:53 PM   #2
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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Celuien's post

The night before the Envoy's arrival

Stars gleamed brightly in the midnight sky over the Ulfings' settlement. A warm breeze mingled with the new-budding branches, stirring them to a gentle whisper that played behind the song of the night birds. Peace reigned over all, save in one house, where even at the late hour, a light still moved in the windows.

Ulfast knew no rest. For hours he had lain awake in bed, staring ahead as though he could will his sight beyond the wooden beams to gaze beyond the ceiling of his chamber to the still darkness of the night. His spirit was troubled, though he could not say why. Time dragged by and sleep yet failed him until, at last, he lit a lamp and stirred uneasily in the room, changing his nightshirt for a brown tunic and breeches with a black cloak and boots. Perhaps a walk in the open air would settle his spirits.

Concealing a dagger on his belt, Ulfast stole out into the night. He walked in the dark, savoring the odors of loam and cut wood that filled the air, but ever alert and with one hand on the dagger handle. No enemy would catch him unaware.

A turn near the town's gate brought him to the standards of the Claw and Star. Though the symbols could not be seen under the dim moonlight, Ulfast heard the standards flapping in the breeze, and the images were clear as day in his mind. The Star of FŽanor. Not long ago, the Ulfings had been alone, allied only to themselves and a few other tribes in the east. The Dark Lord who held sway from the north was far away, a name to be feared, but not a presence in the daily lives of the people of Ulfang. But now they had thrown their lots in with the Elves. Ulfast had spoken in favor of that choice. The Dark Lord was slipping. The Elves were in open rebellion against him, and were ever seeking new allies for their cause. A new power was rising. Not today, or for a year of tomorrows, or even for long winters after that, but it was rising, and the Ulfings would rise with it to new power beyond their wildest imaginings in the old days.

Ulfast walked on, still lost in his thought, until the sun peered over the horizon. He then turned back to his house to rest before the business of the day began.

Last edited by piosenniel; 11-11-2006 at 06:19 PM.
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