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Old 07-27-2006, 02:01 PM   #119
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.

Never had Vrór felt so sore after a long days work hoisting, chiseling, scraping, dragging, and hammering. And yet all it had taken to do this was about a half a day spent on one of those beasts. He could still feel the rhythm of the horse moving underneath him, making moving on his own two feet strange, but incredibly refreshing. He had nearly fallen off; he had been in such a rush to dismount. And of course he had refused to let anyone help him.

He had hated to go within ten feet of that animal, but as soon as he gritted his teeth and humbled himself to be hoisted up, Vrór clung to it with all his might, staring wide-eyed as the ground passed by beneath him more quickly than he would have liked. His feet dangled, and he found himself point his toes downward as if they were reaching for the earth that seemed so far away.

But the Dwarf had kept his mouth shut the entire ride. The Elf had been behind them, and the back of Vrór’s neck tingled constantly as if Lindir was watching him to make a move, to mess up, to fall off, or perhaps just to start complaining. Somehow the Dwarf avoided doing all of those things.

A few of his breaths came out as growls now, though, and a few more as groans. He would be feeling these aches even worse in the coming night, not to mention the next day. He could already imagine what he would wake up to…if he even got a chance to settle down for the night.

It had been rather sudden when the Elf called them all to a halt, and pointed out the for now invisible camp with ease. To think they were going to try and infiltrate a camp most of them couldn’t even see. He agreed they should not move any further in daylight, but he hated to think that he wouldn’t be able to get near enough to the camp until the sun was down, and then…well, then there was a whole other visibility issue. Not that he would say anything about that. More than just his entire lower body was sore after this morning’s ride: his ego had been rather bruised as well.

“…but we need a few brave folk to go down and get a closer look at their camp, and try to find out where they've taken the slaves.”

Aiwendil’s words caught the Dwarf’s attention, and secured it tightly. They were going…now? Already? But they had just stopped. And all of them but the elf couldn’t even see the camp that they were supposed to get a closer look of. How did they expect anyone to get near enough in broad daylight to actually see the slaves that had – at least according to Aiwendil’s birds, Vrór supposed – been captured? The old man had just remarked that this was as close as they were going to get before they had any cover from the night. How absurd, but not unlike him, it seemed.

“You're right, my friend. Any takers then? the rest of us will set up camp.”

Vrór cursed himself, and cursed Lindir and the old man. The question just had to be voiced by the Elf. If it had been anyone else, the Dwarf might not feel his sore ego desiring to repair itself somehow, if only through another beating to the rest of his body. But he was thinking selfishly. Staring in the direction Lindir had pointed, hopefully toward the slavers’ camp. Those men were bounty hunters. They were thieves, worse than thieves. They were thieves that worked with men, stole beings with hearts and minds, and sold them. It was akin to selling your own soul, in Vrór’s mind. And these captives…were they really just children? How could any man even fathom keeping a child a prisoner as someone lower than animals, treated as prized possessions, objects rather than living beings.

“I will go,” Vrór found the words escaping from him as a quick bark. He tried not to redden in the face, though he felt in the spotlight now. “A Dwarf can be as quiet as a mouse when he chooses. Not that size has anything to do with it,” he added with a slight grin. He jested in his nervousness.

The next person to speak up was the Hobbit. He seemed just as hesitant as Vrór felt. The Dwarf bowed his head in Carl’s direction, showing his respect and gratitude for accompanying him. All pleasantries flew out of Vrór’s head when Lindir spoke again.

“I’d say a pair is the most we can risk…”

The Elf continued on with some kind of thanks for the two’s bravery, but the Dwarf did not really hear it. He was too busy trying to get over the shock that the only company he would have was the Hobbit. Vrór trusted Carl to be a fine ally in most any situation, but that was not the issue. The issue came down to mere numbers. Two? Of course, any more would mean more of a risk of being caught. And they were the two smallest of the company.

But what would be done if even one of those wicked men caught sight of them? A Dwarf and a Hobbit in Mordor…they’d probably have to take several moments just to believe what they saw, Vrór determined with as much amusement as he could at the moment.

The two wasted little time before they did indeed leave the others to set up camp, both thinking in the back of their minds about how much of a chance there was that they would not be returning there to sleep that night. Would any of them get a chance to rest? It seemed things were on the move, and much faster than they had ever predicted, much less intended.

“To think they send the two smallest members of the Fellowship to do the spying,” Vrór remarked to the Hobbit in a rather flimsy attempt to lighten their spirits. “I’d be offended if I was not the fool who volunteered for this myself.”

He gripped the axe he had exchanged for the hammer at his belt, looking ahead and reminding himself of what lay beyond his sight. At least they would have the hills as cover for a time, though the Dwarf still found it hard to believe they were sneaking up on something they couldn’t even see.
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