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Old 10-16-2006, 04:41 PM   #230
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.

Raising an eyebrow at Shae’s last comment, Khamir watched her take a seat near Beloan and one of the strange short men: the taller one, who had wild fiery hair, a colour like he had never seen before. All that he could really recognize was that he was obviously quite hardy in body and was getting up in age, as both the hair on his head and his beard were streaked with bits of silver. He still wondered about these strangers, but he had been inclined to trust them from the start, and held a new respect for Elessar, King of Gondor, no matter how begrudgingly he had to admit it, even to himself.

In particular, he was surprised by the fact that the King had sent a former slave as a part of the group. It could have been mere chance, yes, but even Khamir had to admit that it was most likely planned. The man was wise. Perhaps the Southron could learn to love this Elessar, even if he never quite came to love Gondor as a whole. If he could, he would be glad to live and serve in a new land under his jurisdiction, even though he was royalty hundreds of miles away.

That night had been full of surprises, and this day was already proving to hold even more. Even Shae had more things up her sleeves than usual, it seemed, and for several moments Khamir could only stare at her, the first few times he blinked out of pure surprise. He also hesitated for other reasons. What would joining this mean? Anything? It seemed to him almost like admitting some sort of defeat. It seemed like giving in. But hadn’t he already? He tried to settle himself, and convince himself to give up the fight already, though perhaps he would lose more than ever if he was fully successful in the latter. Actually suppressing even part of his stubborn nature might harm his fighting spirit – not that there was much fear of that: he was too stubborn to attempt to do so with too much effort.

Finally finding a reason or two for him to join this makeshift counsel of generals of circumstance, Khamir took a seat behind but in between Shae and Beloan. He would not be the one to smooth over divisions between the slaves and the Fellowship. His sense of loyalty, once it was fixed on a particular person or group, was hard to loosen, even just to spread it wider. He listened to the smallest of the newcomers, but feigned disinterest when anyone glanced at him.

“There are about sixty of us in all,” Beloan spoke up after the short man was through.

“I counted some twenty-five or thirty of those slavers,” the strange orange haired man said in a deep, grating voice that sounded akin to that of the mountains themselves.

Now it was Khamir’s turn to speak up. Numbers were all well and good, and he knew there was wisdom in the small brown haired man’s words, but horses were not necessarily as positive. Of course, this outlander would not understand.

“I expect many of you can ride, but many of us cannot. Horses in this land are scarce – the only horses we’ve seen in many years have either been in front of a plow or cooked. Orcs will eat them without a second thought.” He added his last statement in explanation, certainly not wishing to insult these foreign men with the idea that he ate horse meat, not that he had been picky about what he did or did not eat for years.

“I rode as a young man, but it has been almost two decades. Finding more horses may be more trouble than they are worth. We know this land better than any horses, too, and will be able to withstand its treacheries with more grace, I think. These bounty hunters may know Mordor, too, but many of them came here only when they saw opportunity after the fall of the Dark Lord. They are men that readily took the place of many Orcs, even against their fellow men, for money.”

They were below Orcs to Khamir, and that was saying something, as one of those creatures was the cause of his missing arm. But he had long given up on revenge, even though he would take it if ever the opportunity presented itself.

Khamir was too wrapped up in his thoughts and his anger to notice that Beloan was nodding beside him. “We know the land better than they do,” his friend began, “and I hope we will be able to use that to our advantage. Unfortunately, they are more seasoned in the ways of war. Surely some of you, though, know more of battles?” His voice took on an air of beseeching, but there was not an ounce of subservience to be found in his tone or his posture. Khamir looked at his companion with immense respect: he realized his and all of the Mordorians’ weaknesses and faults, and could admit them with losing any of his pride. Beloan was a wiser leader than he would ever have been. Khamir eyed the stump that used to be his right arm as one of his last signs of pride, but he could live with that, because he was alive.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 01-23-2007 at 06:58 AM.
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