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Old 06-13-2006, 02:03 PM   #361
littlemanpoet
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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Eodwine leaned forward. "I see how the two quetions I asked of you are intertwined. I also see that we cannot be assured of your story unless someone from this Mead Hall goes back to Dunland with you, to see for himself the way of things. That is what shall be done."

"My lord?" Manawyth queried, his one eye big with surprise. "What mean you?"

"I shall go with you back to Dunland to see if your story is true. But not today, nor this week, nor for a few months. The trip must be planned, and things must be set enough to rights here so that my leavetaking for a little while will not be the the worse. In the meantime, you shall be under the protection and guard of the Eorling Mead Hall at all times. You are not a free man, but my prisoner, and you shall do my bidding until we go. I will use your time and craft to prepare for our leave taking.

"But-"

"Listen to me! You are safe here. If you try to escape from this Hall, your head will be hunted, and no man of the Eorlings will consider it a tragedy that one more Dunlending's head is separated from his body. As long as you are here, you are under my protection. I am holding you as my captive, but you shall not be bound hand and foot, but by the knowledge that were you to go anywhere but where I say, your life is forfeit. Do you understand me?"

Manawyth did not speak right away in answer, but eventually gave his assent to Eodwine's terms. He had little choice else.

Eodwine looked out the windows and saw that it was almost noon. The morning had passed more quickly than it felt! As had been planned ahead of time, Eodwine nodded to Thornden, who stepped forward and announced that Eodwine's court would cease for the mid day meal, and that anyone who had come to the Eorling Mead Hall was welcome to the fare he had to offer. Frodides and Kara had, of course, been forewarned, and been busy since they had left the hall themselves. The Hall was quickly rearranged for food and drink. The afternoon would see the guests welcomed from the surroundings.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 06-14-2006 at 09:11 PM.
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