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Old 01-08-2004, 01:57 PM   #33
Spirit of Mist
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 2,897
Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!

Estelyn Telcontar/Wyrma

The curtain which covered the entry to the Lord Falasmir’s audience hall rustled softly as the woman pulled it aside. She approached ruler’s throne with purposeful, unhasted steps and bowed her head with only as much deference as necessary to greet him.

“Welcome, Lady Wyrma,” he said politely, yet without warmth in his smooth voice. “You have arrived punctually as always. I hope you had a good journey?”

“A journey is always good when it is uneventful,” she replied, almost curtly. “I trust you and your family are well, my Lord Falasmir.”

“As always,” he answered, “as always. However, time is too short to spend in talking of such matters – the appointed hour for the banquet draws nigh and we must plan our course of action well.”

“So you still intend to go through with this – farce?” she said with only a hint of the disdain she felt.

“Of course,” Falasmir replied. “There must be no outward sign that we do not intend to cooperate fully with King Elessar’s plans and wishes. Besides, it does not hurt to remind the traders who holds the power here in Umbar.”

Wyrma curbed the retort that came to her mind; she had long ago learned not to say what she thought without carefully considering the repercussions. Not even among allies did she allow herself to speak freely.

“What are you planning?” she asked instead.

“The northern captain has been told that the awaited caravan arrives in two days. However, at noon of the second day, we shall seize him, his first mate, and the whole crew. If any resist, they will be slain,” he said.

“Would it not be better to rid yourself of them all immediately?” Wyrma queried. “Of what further use can they be to you?”

“Oh, they will show their worth – at the slave market! They are healthy and strong and will bring a good price, I am sure!” Falasmir laughed.

“Live foes can still do mischief,” she said.

“You see matters too sternly, I deem,” came his reply. “Now, have you news from the north?”

“Yes,” she answered. “A messenger has come, bearing tidings that all is ready. It shall take place in seven days.” With a glance at the guards flanking the throne, she said no more.

“Good, good,” he responded, noticing her look with chagrined irritation. Wyrma was an excellent counsellor and a cunning ally, but he did not trust her so far as to meet with her alone and unguarded. She had abilities that made her dangerous, and there was no telling whether she might use them against him. He had the uncomfortable feeling that she knew of his fear and was secretly amused by it.

Well did Wyrma realize his apprehension, and she did nothing to allay it. She knew that fear of the unknown was greater than that of a visible danger and was therefore careful never to reveal herself to him. Indeed, there were few who had seen her true nature made apparent.

Since all that was now necessary had been said, she took her leave, departing by the same doorway which she had entered earlier. It was located at the side of the room and used only by those who were granted the privilege in order to remain unseen by those waiting in the courtyard. The curtained opening led to an antechamber, where two more guards stood. Wyrma ostensibly took no notice of them, just as they appeared not to see her, but she was acutely aware of their interest.

She entered the chambers which she always occupied when staying in the palace. Her maid, who accompanied her on all journeys so that she needed no other assistance, was unpacking the baggage efficiently and quietly. She brushed past a large mirror with only a cursory glance. She needed no mirror to tell her how she looked; beauty was not what she strove to achieve. She knew that she was not an outwardly attractive woman, being too stocky for gracefulness and having stern features that showed no feminine daintiness. That was of no importance to her. She sat down at the desk near the window to peruse the messages lying there.

Last edited by piosenniel; 04-05-2007 at 11:34 AM.
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