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Old 04-19-2004, 11:06 PM   #114
Vice of Twilight
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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Shield ROHAN: Liornung... words with Miss Argeleafa

Liornung started and stared at Ędegard in a puzzled fashion. A brief flash of anger passed through his eyes and some of his usual friendliness was lacking when he spoke. "Leave Amroth to himself, then," he replied. "Perhaps he cannot be trusted." Ędegard looked taken aback and Liornung colored instantly. "Pardon my harsh words, friend," he murmured. "I was startled and surprised by your words. I had not expected you to speak thus." He looked at Argeleafa and saw she had drawn back in fear at the words of both Liornung and Ędegard. He smiled gently and comfortingly at her, then turned back to Ędegard. "Go to Amroth if you wish," he said. "I will not be long in joining you. This lass is not fit for the life these wayfarers lead. She is Rohirric as myself, not Easterling. Her father had no business taking her from her home. She has been sent to fetch water and she does not know where to go, and I'll hang on a high tree before I let such a lass go by without helping her."

Bellyn, too, seemed startled by the way Liornung spoke but did not show her fear as strongly as the girl did. It was clear to see the young fiddler felt very deeply about these wayfarers and was annoyed with Ędegard.

Argeleafa made a movement as if to leave but Liornung stopped her. "Miss Argeleafa, you would not leave without your water? Come down to the stream with me and we will fetch it. Ędegard, Bellyn, you go catch up with Amroth and see if you detain him. I also fear for him at times." Ędegard and Bellyn began to move off. "And, good Ędegard, please do pardon my harshness. Let me tell you a tale of these wayfarers, if you will, when I rejoin you."

He took Argeleafa's hand as if she were a little child and led her down to the stream. "Sir," she said with some spirit, "you needn't help me. I may not be fit for the wayfarer life but I trust I can carry a pail of water well enough."

"Ah yes, but to find a stream is a different matter. I also wished to speak with you about something very important. My friend Ędegard does not like to see Rohirric people wandering about with Easterlings. I do not say I agree with him entirely, for he feels strongly about his country and those in it. Perhaps he thinks it is wrong of them. I merely find it strange that those of Rohan and even of Gondor would feel differently with them. I myself believe the Rohirric and Gondorians are best suited to stay where they are but I can understand, having broken that ideal myself. They left their homes, and that was their choice, not mine. What compelled them to do so I do not know; perhaps the War destroyed their home and life and they had no other choice." An amused smile flickered over his face. "Perhaps they are only Easterlings in disguise." He did seem immensely pleased at this idea yet with his romantic mind he would. "Yet you have told me your father merely took a fancy into his head to leave. If you will excuse me for speaking thus of your father, Miss Argeleafa, he had no right to and he should have. You were content in your home, and you did not want to leave it. Do not deny it, your face says as much! I am going to speak with your father, Miss Argeleafa, and if he will not go back here and now I will take you with our company and bring you back as soon as my quest is done. That is, if you desire to go."

Surprisingly Argeleafa did not make the protest Liornung had expected, that being that she did not know them. Her protest was quite different. "But sir, how is your life in this quest you speak of different than the life of the wayfarers?"

"It is immensely different," said Liornung intensely. "Ędegard and I travel out of a sense of duty, not because we wished to leave our homes and families. While we are forced to be on the road we have not set aside the custom and manner of our people, of your people. The War changed the lives of so many. I am different than those in this group... I travel about in my work to recall the days of yore, to bring back the traditions where men of Rohan fade away from it because the War ravaged their lands, not because I have turned away from those traditions. Those Rohirric here have abandoned their traditions and taken up with the Easterlings to lead a life they should not lead, and you especially. I do not say when I saw Rohirric people in your group of wayfarers I frowned with displeasure, but upon reflecting I realize I would rather see them sitting in their Rohirric homes, singing their Rohirric songs, and riding their Rohirric horses. I would not see them fade away from their culture and traditions."

Argeleafa spoke immediately when he paused. "Sir, you speak strong words yet true words. I have always loved the Rohirric way of life and I thought my heart would break when my father left it. The Easterlings are not wicked, the Gondorians are not wicked, but I cannot understand their ways of life and I cannot love it. I can live with them but I cannot live the life they live, and I am expected to. I will speak with my father, and if he will not return home I will go with you. That is, if Master Ędegard will allow. He thinks on me in not a favorable light, I think, but perhaps you can persuade him that I am not one of those Rohirric who did not care if they left their traditions or not."

"Fine!" Liornung said. "I cannot explain why I have taken such a liking to you, but you rather remind me of a niece I have and that is probably the reason. Yet I fancy you are older than she is... What is your age?"

"Four and twenty years, sir."

"You are no little girl!" he said. "In truth I thought thus when I saw your bewildered manner, but it proves my point. You do not love this life and you were not made for it. It is not a bad way of life for those like me who are caught up in enchantment by the road. Yet you... not you, Miss Argeleafa, not you." A little smile flickered across his face. "And no matter what good Ędegard says, I deem Miss Bellyn, or should I say Bella at her request, would enjoy the company of another woman. You will find her one who is not lacking in tradition, though she is of Gondor. Speak to your father, I will speak to Ędegard. If your father refuses to return, obtain a horse and ride north until you find us. We will be only a short distance away, less than a mile I think. If your father agrees to reutrn to his home, I bid you goodbye, Miss Argeleafa."

During their speech they had filled the pail with water and returned to the camp of wayfarers. Liornung bowed slightly to the girl, gave her the water pail, mounted his horse and began trotting briskly northward. If all honest truth must be told he was more than a little frightened of telling Ędegard that the young girl might be joining them, especially as he seemed to look upon the Rohirric wayfarers in a disfavorable light. He did not feel anymore at ease when, upon catching up to his company, Ędegard turned to him, a friendly look upon his face. Plainly he bore no ill will against Liornung for previous words the fiddler had spoken to him. 'Twould be hard to shatter such a friendly mood, but for the girl's sake and Rohan's sake it must be done.

"Good Ędegard, I bring you tidings, and whether they are good or ill I cannot say," he said. "I have sent Miss Argeleafa to speak with her father and try to convince him to return to his home. As I have told you, she was not made and brought up to be a wayfarer. If her father will not bring her home - " and here he stiffened and gripped the reins tightly, as if expecting a wild storm to blow him to the ends of Middle-Earth " - she will be coming with us."
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