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Old 04-07-2010, 03:53 PM   #202
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In that far land beyond the Sea
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Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.
Lóni and Onli

After the announcement has been made, things started to move, sometimes in a bit chaotic way. Lóni expected to be called to the rest of the nobles, to be given the command due to him - and he was not far from expecting also to get a share of responsibility which would otherwise have gone to his brother. Nevertheless, before anything was to be done, he wanted to first take one more look at Náli. He also wanted to clean his armor - but he felt that either he is going to get the chance to do it in the following three hours, or not for a long time to come. Or maybe never.

As he approached the lying wounded in the First Hall, however, he noticed somebody else walking towards his brother's body simultaneously along the second line of columns at the eastern end of the Hall. Fixing his eye upon the person, Lóni recognised Onli. He turned to quickly cross his path.

"You," he shouted at him. The red-bearded Dwarf turned around, startled. "You were supposed to be under my brother's command, right?"

"Y-yes," stammered Onli. His eyes darted from Lóni to motionless Náli and back. He was afraid. He expected to be scorned for neglecting his duties, for up to now he had been avoiding getting close to Náli or his brother and he was unable to get enough information on what exactly had happened. He feared to be questioned and exposed as an unreliable aide, or straightaway punished. However, Lóni had no intention of either of that.

"Since my brother is in no state to give you orders now, I am placing you to take care of him," he said. Inside, Onli sighed in relief, however, he was aware that this might mean far more responsibility than he will be able to bear.

"I won't have time to watch over him myself," continued Lóni, "but I shall deem you responsible for his transport to safety... and you are bound to watch over him and by all means protect him... until he recovers." Lóni's voice broke slightly at these last words, but he made the effort to make himself sound firm again. He looked into Onli's eyes with his one deep eye.

"I assume you would take this as your task even without my direct order, as you are supposed to be my brother's right- my brother's aide," he finished quickly. "But I now relay it to you directly. I want you to swear that you will watch over him with your life."

Onli's face turned pale. That was something he was afraid of.

"I will surely take care of your brother as well as I can, dear master Lóni," he said, trying to sound resolute. "In fact, I was just on the way to take a look at his condition, if he has gotten any better... I have been thinking, however, that perhaps he should be given to the special care of some skilled healer. What I mean is that after all, it will be better to have him in good care, and I am not well-versed in this art, and perhaps I would better serve with my skills elsewhere, like for example in administering -"

"You have heard me," Lóni interrupted him. "However much I love my brother, there are too few healers in our ranks for them to be preoccupied with only one person, however important leader he is. I am sure they will take good care of him as it is, but what I want from you is to oversee that he is transported safely and that he is never left without guard. That guard will be you, Onli, because all soldiers are needed elsewhere. I want you to swear with your life that you will stand by his side."

There was no way out. Onli touched his beard with trembling hand. "Yes," he said. "I swear... with my life."

"Good," said Lóni. He turned to Náli, still lying with closed eyes and breathing slowly. Who knows how long it will be before they see again? But whatever will happen, Lóni was determined to see Náli again.

"See you later, brother," he whispered and turned away.

Onli was still waiting on the spot, with a mixture of fear and anger boiling inside him, eyes fixed on Náli's lying body. Then his features softened. After all, things could have still been worse. Perhaps, having to watch over Náli, who was unlikely to wake up in any near time, he will be spared any encounters with the Orcs at all. While the warriors will be holding the Gates, he would be safe and sound with the wounded, somewhere far away from the risk of getting into the battle. That at least was a thing to look positively at.
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