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Old 07-03-2004, 07:41 PM   #350
littlemanpoet
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Shield Ædegard

"A story of my family." Ædegard considered. "I will tell you of how I got my sister."

"Why, I would think," Liornung deadpanned, "it was most likely by the normal means, friend Ædegard!"

"That it was not." Ædegard glanced around the group. Bella tilted her head and narrowed her eyes, as if wondering what other way there was. Liornung raised his brow. Leafa met his eyes and waited for him to continue. Nethador watched the others, pulling at the brown grass, glowering with obvious frustration at not being able to understand what befell.

"I was not my parents' first baby. They have told me that I was the fifth, but the only one to live beyond my first month. Six babies more my parents tried to bring into the world, but none others of them survived. Only I, and a sickly babe I was, to hear them tell it. Mama pined for a girl child, and Papa wanted to give her one that would live, but it was not to be. Maybe it was the dark and stuffy wheelwright shop that sickened Mama each time, and sickened me in my first year. I know not.

"Mama's sister, Aunt Penda, and her husband, Uncle Théobald, lived out west by the Isen, where they kept herds at the feet of the Thrihyrne, just beyond the Gap of Rohan. When I had seen twelve summers, they died in an attack by Dunlendings. My cousin, Théolyn, would have been murdered with them, but she had been sent into the foothills of the Thrihyrne to tend the sheep, and the Dunlendings did not search up there. 'Twas her good fortune, and ours, though we all grieved the loss of her Penda and Theobald. The elder of the folk beyond the gap sent word to Edoras, and so we learned of Théolyn's orphanage. We gave word that we would take her in, and she was brought to us. Since then it has become easy to call her sister. I often forget that she is only cousin. It matters not, for she brightens our dark home, and Mama's spirits. If not for her, we would find it hard to care for Papa, who is now too sick to work.

"Forgive me for telling you such a sad story, but it is not all sad. I am glad that Théolyn is home to care for my parents." Ædegard frowned. "I should be there, too. I have been away too long already." He looked to Leafa, words hovering on his lips, but he left them unsaid, and stared at the ground between his knees.

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