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Old 07-05-2006, 12:39 PM   #29
Messenger of Hope
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In a tiny, insignificant little town in one of the many States.
Posts: 5,228
Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Kwell Dunfire

Kwell walked alone on the edge of the group. His shoulders hunched slightly forward and his head was lowered. Silently, in a dogged fashion he walked forward, stumping along with the rest. His heavy staff beat time on the bare rocks. Muttering, he counted. Three steps to each movement of the cudgel. His mouth pulled itself down into the accustomed frown. What a miserable pace.

He lifted his head scarcely an inch and his dark eyes flicked around at the people to his left. How could they walk in groups, talking like that? Some even smiled. Very small smiles, he noted with a little bit of satisfaction, but they were smiling all the same. What right did they think they had? His eye settled on one particular girl for a moment. Her black curls hung limply around her face, somehow framing it in an oddly attractive way. His scowl became even more fierce as he looked at her bright shining eyes and her laughing face. Yes, laughing. With two older women who looked positively taken with the girlís cheerful conversation and witty talk.

Kwell snorted in disgust and looked away. There was Khamir, the evident leader of the slaves who had escaped long ago, speaking with Beloan. Beloan had taken all of the men fit and able enough to do what needed to be done out and taught them certain skills of many different responsibilities. He had gathered the boys, too, and of them all, Kwell had been the youngest and the smallest. There were two or threes boys younger than he, but they had not been old enough for the work.

He had hated those days of training. Not for the work - that was a relief in the days of boredom. Certainly not because of the work. No, it was because of the very fact that he was youngest and everyone treated him so. Was he daft? Stupid? To need to have more explanation so that he could understand it? He could watch one or two of the previous people be taught how to set a trap and then do it himself. Regardless, each time, Beloan had come up to him and explained it all over, not allowing him to touch the ropes until he had shown him - again - how it was done.

Kwell wasnít a brilliant boy, but at least he was observant. Those wasted minutes of useless explanation had rankled his temper and caused him to be tight lipped and tense. It had been made worse when he, Beloan, and two others went out to hunt. Kwell attributed it to sheer luck that the other slave had brought down a deer seconds before he would have. Beloan had praised him for it - he went on for a ridiculous amount of time, according to Kwellís thoughts. Nary a word to Kwell, though, not even a glance, even though his bow string had already been drawn back, too, and the feather of his arrow had tickled his cheek. He would have killed it.

Kwell lifted his staff and struck savagely at twisted thorn bush. The branches crackled under the ferocity of the blow. He didnít care, he decided. What did another manís good will and praise matter to him? Nothing - until it was given to another person who didnít deserve it.
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