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Old 01-07-2008, 02:35 AM   #219
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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Treachery and the Hunt

Jord could feel it in the air; it, and its symptoms: suspicion, hate, fear. It pervaded the Ulfing village, like an invisible plague of the spirit, infecting all it touched. None were free from its influence, and none would acknowledge its presence. The false camaraderie of the hunt was a glorious, futile attempt to cover and ignore it. The strained relations of the three princes bore witness to its presence. Like the walking, living specter of the king, it haunted the halls and minds of the Ulfings.

Good, she thought. Good. These people are ripe for picking. I am the harvester.

She closed her eyes, and gloried in the foul stench...of treachery.

Jord was standing on the porch of the king's hall, and her hair and gown were blowing gently in the warm wind. Eyes still closed, she breathed deep through her nostrils, gathering the breaths and thoughts of the village, listening closely to the words contained therein. But this was no Song, no Deep Truth. This was a hungry creature scenting for its prey.

I am not the harvester, she thought, and smiled. I am the hunter.

Early that morning, she had stalked silently down from her chamber and out through the hall onto the porch, and there she had stayed. She had watched the town come to life, watched the scurry and bustle begin. Once or twice she had nearly smiled instinctively as she watched mothers going to market with their children. Even now, she frequently found that her human body had a mind of its own, and had to be controlled with great concentration and focus. Inwardly, she cursed her mortal prison, and cursed its base instincts and tendencies and weaknesses.

I am better than this. I am purer. I am the hunter.

She had watched as the hunt had been organized, as the huntsmen had mounted their horses and sharpened their spears. Both Uldor and Ulfast had ignored her as they passed her on the porch: whether out of spite, or out of some confused attempt at subtlety, she couldn't tell. She could never tell.

They were both fools, she told herself, but useful fools. Both believed themselves the sole possessor of her good favor.

Ulfast, clever, capable Ulfast is already mine, and Uldor will break soon. He believes treachery beneath him, but deep inside he knows that he is loyal to no one but himself. Soon he will come to see that my masterís way is the way of profit and of gain. Then it will be a matter of time, while one brother makes up his mind to do in the other. I will start the chain. I will clear the path. I will make the first kill.

The princes and their grand hunt had been gone for nearly half an hour when Jord left the porch. In the street she paused momentarily and looked around her once more. Once more, she took in the scent of the breeze.

Blood...I can smell it. It is on the wind, it is coming soon. I am the hunter. The hunt is up.

Then she moved through the crowd, unmarked, in the direction of Khandrís dwelling.
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