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Old 07-14-2008, 08:48 AM   #173
Shade with a Blade
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
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Late Evening

After the evening meal, Crabannan wandered off towards the edge of camp where, rather than spend the night in one of the tents he had helped set up, he threw down his bed-roll a little apart from everyone else. Picketing his horse nearby, he sat down on his blanket and leaned back against the creature's warm side. The trees were to their back and from where he sat he could see both the camp and the high Scar by turning his head this way and that. Lamps flickered within and among the tents, casting distorted shadows against the canvas walls as the inhabitants of Scarburg prepared for sleep. But beyond the perimeter of the encampment, all was dark and silent, save for the clustered burning stars and the silver moon.

Pensive, Crabannan pulled from beneath its heavy cloth wrapping an old harp, and began, almost absent-mindedly, to play it. At first he plucked the strings slowly and somewhat aimlessly, but soon a melody began to take shape, as if he had followed his wandering thoughts through all the old songs he had learned in Dale in his youth until they led him to one of their choosing - and then the tune began to flow through his fingers apparently without effort or thought. The song took shape as its notes drifted out into the brisk night air: sad and sweet and gentle (nearly everything that Crabannan was not, in fact). It was a haunting lament for young soldiers lost at war, and as Crabannan played with the light of memory in his staring eyes, his expression softened somewhat. Even after he had finished playing, the expression remained for a few moments, before he silently bound the cloth back about the harp and put it away.

Turning back, he saw in surprise a flickering fire away up on the Scar, as if of a torch or small fire. He could not know how long it had been there, for he had been paying little heed as he played, for which he cursed himself. He jumped up, and as quickly as he had seen it, the flame vanished again without a trace or a sound. Crabannan remained standing, stock-still. He listened hard, but there was nothing, and he found himself wondering, despite his certainty of a moment before, if he had not merely imagined it, and the fire on the Scar drifted into hazy uncertain memory.

Crabannan lay back down and though he waited and watched for nearly an hour, sword and longbow near at hand, the fire did not return. Finally, long after the last light had been extinguished in the camp, he fell asleep, entirely exhausted, but happier than he had been in months.
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