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Old 09-18-2006, 05:00 PM   #1
mark12_30
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Leaf Friends Of Nimrodel: Tapestry of Dreams, Part 2 RPG

~*~
Friends Of Nimrodel: Tapestry of Dreams
Part 2

~*~

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Old 09-20-2006, 06:31 PM   #2
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Leaf Erebemlin leads the men southward

Erebemlin set his face toward the South gate of the Pelennor, relaxing more with every mile. Behind him he sensed two more elves, tall and shining, graceful, resolute. It was a comforting vision, and he did not turn around, but let it remain so. The menfolk followed behind.

For now, they said little. Taitheneb sensed that the men were restless and wanted to talk, but Erebemlin's silence was opressive, and ruled the rest. They marched on.

Finally the silence was broken, by the thief no less. "Can someone tell me what's the point of having these fine new horses if we are going to walk the whole way?"

Erebemlin did not answer at first. Taitheneb waited, wondering, and then knew why; were they to mount and ride, Erebemlin's mind must needs turn to his horse. The elf wanted instead to think of his king.

Erebemlin shook his head. "We will walk this day."

"Just wondering, " muttered Aeron.

Ravion watched the back of Erebemlin's head for a while. Whoever they passed gave them odd looks. Ravion felt a bit odd himself. Nevertheless it was good to be back on the road; and he for one did not mind walking. He turned and grinned at Aeron, who shrugged.

The Rohirrim felt the walking most keenly, perhaps, but they said nothing. Raefindan seemed relieved that the riding was postponed. Nethwador was far too miserable to care.

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Old 09-20-2006, 06:32 PM   #3
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White Tree

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...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:13 AM   #4
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Aeron did not want to walk. Not that he knew how to ride a horse well, of course, but he could keep on a horse's back most of the time -- except when the thing took it in it's head to trot off somehwere. Then he usually slipped around a bit, maybe fell to the ground but nothing a lad such as himself couldn't handle.

He sighed. His feet hurt. He remembered having ridden most the time. With Gwyllion behind him, her arms around his waste because her legs weren't strong enough to grip the horses belly.

One. Two. Three. He counted the steps until he lost count and had to begin again. And again. He saw Ravion grin at him, and wondered how the ranger could be so...oppressingly cheerful.

"You enjoy being on the road again?" he asked, doing a half skip every other step to keep up with the ranger's long strides.

Ravion nodded, smiling a little.

"I'd enjoy it a bit more I think if these elves knew how to be a bit more cheeful I think. Not that it would matter. I wonder why I said that, because if they did then I'd wonder at them because things are so...so...things are as grey as the mist on the moors. And yet here they are. Their faces are like the frowns before a heavy rain and it drags me to the earth, making every step a trudge." Aeron said this in a whisper, and even then felt as if he was trespassing upon the silence.

Ravion just shook his head at him. But Aeron did not see any scorn in his eyes, and he found that comforting a little.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:22 PM   #5
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White Tree

The south gate of the Pelennor was only five miles south of the city, and they reached it quickly. The guards sent them through with kind words, and once outside the gate, they mounted. The South Road stretched before them.

Erebemlin studied Mellondu silently; Mellondu glared at him in defiance. Erebemlin led; Mellondu rode second; Nethwador joined Taitheneb, and nearby on his faithful bay rode Ædegard. Liornung, Ravion, Raefindan, and Aeron brought up the rear. Liornung chatted with Raefindan, explaining what the horse needed to know, and Raefindan did the best he could.

Ravion waited for Aeron to ask for advice; Aeron chatted about many other things.

Every now and then, Nethwador glanced over his shoulder, but not at the men. Once in a while, Aeron felt the hair stand up on the back of his own neck. He had all but forgotten about his sister while they had been passing through the South Gate, and he berated himself for it. He wondered at the occasional chill, and blamed it on the weather.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:49 AM   #6
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They rode til an hour before sunset, and then Erebemlin halted the company near a wide field on the western side of the road. He bid them dismount.

Ravion's brow creased. "Erebemlin, why do we halt now?"

Erebemlin responded with a raised brow, and then turned to Mellondu. "Make camp, then string your bow."

Archery lessons. The elf had not forgotten, thought Mellondu grimly. Now to make a fool of the blacksmith in front of the entire company! There was little to do for making camp, and it was quickly done. Taitheneb and Erebemlin stood waiting off to one side. Mellondu walked warily toward them; but he was not alone. Ravion and Raefindan followed him, their bows strung as well. Raefindan fumbled a bit with his arrows.

"What shall we aim for?" Ravion asked. He doubted an elf would suggest shooting at a tree, and anyway there were few in this field.

"Your arrow will not fly today, " replied Erebemlin.

Raefindan and Mellondu exchanged puzzled glances, but Ravion stepped forward eagerly. "Tell me what to do."

Taitheneb smiled. Erebemlin stepped back; his attention was reserved, apparently, for the blacksmith. But Taitheneb strode to Ravion, and the lessons began. The three men stood in a line, Raefindan and Mellondu watching closely as Ravion made tiny adjustments to his grip, to his stance, to his shoulders and his arm.

"Choose an aimpoint. Then close your eyes, draw, and hold."

Ravion stood stock-still, eyes closed, bow drawn. Taitheneb waited, and waited, and waited, til Ravion began to tremble with the strain.

"Open your eyes."

Ravion grunted in disappointment, and Taitheneb told him to move his feet.

What this all had to do with actually hitting something, Mellondu could not yet guess, but he was grateful that Ravion had stepped forward. When Taitheneb finished with Ravion, Ravion was weary, but bemused and happy, carefully twitching certain muscles while muttering under his breath.

Raefindan's lesson begain the same way, but did not follow the same pattern; Raefindan blushed and fumbled and gritted his teeth, muttering something about wasting the elves' time.

Taitheneb smiled. "We do not count time as you do, " he said. "Choose your aimpoint. Not that far! Much closer. There. Now close your eyes." Raefindan trembled far more quickly than had Ravion. "Now open your eyes, and look!"

Raefindan spluttered. "Miles away! I'd miss by a mile!"

"Nay, no more than fifteen yards, " replied Taitheneb, his shimmering laughter falling like rain. "Move your feet, thus. Again. Close your eyes."

Mellondu glared at Erebemlin. You will mock me, he thought. You will make a fool of me.

Taitheneb finished with Raefindan, and then looked expectantly at Erebemlin. But Erebemlin did not step forward. "Mellondu, begin with Taitheneb."

How I dread this, thought Mellondu. Taitheneb's laughter was subdued, and soon subsided as the boy's fury seethed.

At least, thought Mellondu, I shall not shake as soon as the redhaired man. I am a blacksmith and thus no weakling. Perhaps I will hold my draw as long as the ranger.

As he closed his eyes, bent at the waist, and held his draw, a strange sensation tickled at the back of his mind. It took him a while to understand it. Taitheneb bade him move his feet, and he did so, and then closed his eyes again. He bent over into the draw. The wind stirred his hair, which shimmered gold in the sunset. He took a slow breath, thinking only of his aimpoint; nothing else mattered. Nothing. The aim-point shimmered before him, the only thing in the world. He could almost touch it.

"Do not let fly! Open your eyes. Let down," said Taitheneb.

Mellondu blinked; his stance was still too wide, his aimpoint off. He blinked again.

Taitheneb spoke softly. "Close your stance a little more. Shut your eyes. Draw."

He moved his right foot. He closed his eyes, breathing. He bent forward at the waist, like a ship leaning into the wind, like a deer poised to leap. He felt the eagerness of the bow, of the string, of the arrow. He drew. He held, leaning, still and strong as a tree, waiting... on his aim-point. Nothing else mattered. He knew only his aim-point.

Nothing else mattered.

"Open your eyes, " said Taitheneb.

He blinked.

"Enough, " said Erebemlin.

Mellondu slowly let down, put his arrow in his pouch, and stood, his bow still strung, gazing with clouded eyes at his aimpoint, long after the rest of them had gone back to camp.

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Old 09-23-2006, 05:04 PM   #7
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The birds twittered on heedlessly. No travelers passing by would ever guess that those parts of the mountains were inhabited by any other than themselves, except for perhaps the uncomfortable feeling of being watched, for so they would be.

Higher in the White Mountains than other Wild Men were wonted to go dwelled a single Wild Man whose only company were those heedless birds. But dwelling is a relative term, for he did not dwell there as the Stone Folk did in their fortresses of rock, or even as birds in their nests, but rather as a fish might dwell in the sea or a horse on the plains. He wandered, keeping careful watch over the mountains and taking pleasure in the small things life brought to him, and was content.

Presently Rugh sat meditatively beneath the shadowy trees in the cold predawn light, awaiting the rising sun and listening to the rumors of the earth. He was troubled. Strange things were happening, unnatural things he did not know about or understand, only that they seemed to be epitomizing here, in these mountains.

Then he took hold of a thick dead branch on the ground near him and broke off a short piece. He felt compelled to carve, as if the earth itself was urging him on. He started at the bottom with gently flowing curves, which transformed into confused angles – lost, searching and seemed to extend into two hand-like projections, long hands, unlike his own with their stumpy but manipulative fingers – reaching out, seeking…

The carving scared and fascinated him. It was not like anything he had made before; it bore no resemblance to plant or animal or person; it – she…? – was completely other and was somehow related to the strange happenings. Rugh did not like it. It ought to be stopped, somehow, and peace returned to his mountains. Leaving the carving where he had sat, he stood up and left. He only wanted him and his mountains to be left alone.
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Old 09-24-2006, 04:36 AM   #8
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Dawn came all too soon, and Mellondu greeted it with a moan and a grumble. Erebemlin and Taitheneb were up and ready to ride; men were rising, and getting ready. And the blacksmith Mellondu reflected, was the last one up. Well, they wouldn't leave without him. Unfortunately.

Raefindan looked none too happy. Mellondu wondered at that, and decided to ask.

"Bad dreams, " muttered Raefindan, and said no more.

They broke camp, saddled their horses and prepared to ride. Echo did not come when Mellondu whistled, nor when he called. He walked toward him, but Echo stepped away. Everyone else was mounted and ready to ride south, and Mellondu could not catch his horse.

Ædegard looked distracted and troubled; Mellondu could not catch his eye. He spoke to him twice, but Ædegard did not hear. Nethwador sat glassy-eyed beside Taitheneb, who wore a bemused expression with a tinge of sadness. Everyone else looked listless and distracted. Mellondu seethed. Would no man aid him, and catch this straying horse? Echo grew more restless, and kept twenty paces between himself and the blacksmith.

Erebemlin turned his horse to face south, and the rest of the group fell in behind him; and still Echo trotted, unsaddled and unbridled, in the wide field. Finally Mellondu burst out angrily. "Will no-one help me catch this horse?"

Erebemlin met Mellondu's eye, and Echo swung eagerly toward the elf. Taking his place behind Erebemlin's horse, Echo stood proud and still.

Mellondu stalked towards his saddle and bridle, fetched them, and came to the horse. Echo snorted and tossed his head. Mellondu hastily put them on, and clambered onto the horse, who grunted, snorted, and rolled his eyes.

The group seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, and come to life. Chatter and laughter rippled, and even Erebemlin and Taitheneb began to sing. The group surged southward, and the countryside rolled past.

After a few miles, Raefindan came beside Mellondu, and said, "Aren't you going to thank the elf for catching your horse?"

Mellondu glared at him. Raefindan shrugged and fell back beside Ravion, and for a while, no one spoke to Mellondu.

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Old 09-25-2006, 06:01 PM   #9
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Mellonin

Mellonin, Seventh Star, date TBD

Hearing her name, Mellonin turned. "Bella! Good morning!" She caught up two plates, and bore them to the waiting folk, then turned toward Bella. "How fared you the night?"

"I slept fairly well. But it is harder than I thought it would be. I miss them so, " said Bella.

"Of course you do, " said Mellonin; "We all do; but there it is. So-- you'll have tea. Bread? Soup? What shall we bring you?"

Bella's startled expression only made Mellonin more resolute. "Perhaps sitting by the fire would cheer you. Come, what would you like?" Mellonin thought, I will not sulk; I will be cheerful. I will choose to do well. I will not let the grief of parting rule me. I will be cheerful.

Bella struggled for something to say. Leafa glanced down, but glanced back up again with a smile. "Tea, Bella, or coffee? Or perhaps wine, or something stronger?"
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:39 AM   #10
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Aeron shivered in the bright sun of morning and wrapped his thin cloak closer around himself. He was tired, very tired. He had not slept well, and was not thrilled with another day of riding. Sleep, and a warm cup of tea. Yes that sounded like just the thing.

He strapped the pots and pans to the saddle with stiff clumsy fingers and drifted about, ignoring the cold glares of the elves until all was ready and off they went with shoulders bowed and heads bent. Even the horses seemed to be in low spirits.

The gentle rocking motion as the horse plodded on comforted Aeron a little. He leaned forward and rested his head on the horse's neck. The cold settled more deeply into his bones and he shuddered, pressing himself close to the horse for warmth. His eyes grew heavy --all he wanted to do was sleep.

He saw the road melt away and smiled.

"Aeron."

The voice that called his name was beautiful and cold, like light striking an icycle on a winter morning. He recognized that voice with pain and joy, and opened his eyes, shouting, "Gwyllion!"

The rest of the company had disappered. He found himself not astride a horse, but standing on green grass still glimmering with drops of dew. Gwyllion was sitting on a nearby rock, with her chin resting on her knees and her bare feet tucked under her robe. She smiled at him. "Aeron."

He said, "I have missed you, Gwyllion."

She tilted her head, frowning. "Why?"

"Because you are my sister, and I loved you." It was hard to say, he didn't know why. He realized that he had never told her that before.

"Really?"

He nodded and curled up on the grass beside her stone. The sun was warm on his stomach.

"Aeron? I saw something today..."

He glanced up in alarm. Gwyllion was rocking violently back and forth, tears trickling down her cheeks. Her face was paler than he remembered it.

"Oh a terrible thing. I saw a girl on the road, and dark shadows were clustered around her, -- they reminded me of crows. I wanted to help her but I didn't know how...I ran towards her, but then she disappeared and it made me so sad Aeron because she was crying and I couldn't help her...and I wanted to help her and I don't know what has become of her..."

"Gwyll," Aeron whispered, "Gwyllion..."

And then Gwyllion was gone, and there was just the green grass and the elves ahead of them and the snort of horses. He was on the ground and he dimly realized that he must have fallen off the horse. Ravion was staring at him sadly, and said, "You fell asleep, Aeron. You were muttering, I heard you mention your sister's name. You awoke when you fell to the ground."

"I saw Gwyllion," said Aeron distractedly as he clambered to his feet. His head ached and his vision was slightly blurred. "She was sitting on a rock and she told me of a girl she found on the road -- a weeping girl plagued with shadows whom she could not help. And the girl disappeared and Gwyllion was sad because she didn't know what became of her, sad that she couldn't have helped her...she was crying, Ravion! And I couldn't comfort her because then she was gone and I was on the ground."

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Old 09-27-2006, 07:20 PM   #11
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Raefindan felt relatively at ease, having had most of the debates within himself resolved. He was supposed to be here, was supposed to travel with this party, to help Mellondu in any way that he could, to be a friend to these strangers from a time long before his own time, in the middle of which he was somehow riding. But why south? He had not been privy to the discussion and debates among the Elves and the King. He did not feel slighted thereby, for he was a visitor, a guest, and it was simple joy to wake each morning in this place where it was impossible that he should be, yet was. But why south? He had not asked, and did not choose to now; let the Elves lead on. He had enough to think on, recalling memory after memory of a time that would not come for many, many years.

Aeron fell off his horse and gave a muffled yell when he hit the ground. Ravion - who seemed to have somehow befriended Aeron, a miracle and a mercy in its own right, rivaling the storied relationship of one Gimli and one Legolas for sheer improbability - this Ravion kindly informed him that he had fallen asleep and spoken his late sister's name.

Aeron's response caught Raefindan off guard.

"You dreamed of Gwyllion, Aeron?" he asked.

"I saw her," he insisted in a partly sullen tone.

"And she spoke to you," he prompted.

But Aeron's brow furrowed. "You do not believe me?"

Raefindan closed his eyes and smiled, mildly saddened at the misunderstanding. "Aeron, I believe you. Gwyllion is tied to you. It is as Marigold said. Do you know what girl your sister spoke of?"
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:08 PM   #12
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Silmaril

Nimrodel stepped into the grey boat from Lothlorien, stood in the stern, and began to sing. Mellondu followed, and the boat swung out into the current. He hid his face, for a moment, but then raised his eyes, and looked full into her face, and waited.

The roar of the falls grew.

Ravion watched, surrounded by song, as the boat dwindled and rushed toward the falls. He could see as clearly as if he stood nearby. He shook his head; suspended over the falls with Gwyllion and Aeron, he caught his breath as the grey boat hesitated on the glassy top. A moment it hung, and then it plunged down the falls.

They waited.

Beneath the thundering foam, silver trout rippled and flashed southward. Ravion, Gwyllion, and Aeron flew above the river, and gazing, saw the grey elvish boat filled with clear water. Nearby swam Mellondu, and the boat seemed to pause and wait for him.

Nimrodel was nowhere to be seen.

Mellondu's cry pierced even the thunder of the falls. The boat swept him switfly southward; he clung to it, at first, and then crawled over the gunwale, and sat in the clear water. It seemed to Ravion that day turned to night, and the river slowed. Mellondu passed six streams, and when he came to the seventh, he took up the paddle, and steered into it, and got out of the boat, leaving it carelessly in the shallows.

From the marshes, a bent and haggard woman in green came slowly out to meet him. He knelt before her, and she took his face into her bony hands, and his tears poured through her fingers and onto the grass.

She let him weep awhile, and then taking him by the shoulders, raised him to his feet, and turned him to look at the boat. She raised one hand, and the boat turned, and floated past; he cried aloud. Nimrodel now lay, composed and still and young, in the boat beneath the clear water. Only her hair moved, as tiny silver minnows flickered about her. A school of silver trout swam south, around and beneath the grey boat.

Marigold stood with one hand holding Mellondu's shoulder, one hand still raised in farewell; Mellondu froze in disbelief as the grey boat followed the current south, dwindling into the distance til it faded from sight. Mist rose from the river, and the cold settled deeper and deeper into Mellondu's heart. They stood so til dawn.

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Old 08-26-2010, 07:40 PM   #13
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Eye

Ravion stood by the bank, and wondered at Erebemlin's silence, 'til he saw his eyes downcast. The glade grew quiet; Mellondu was gone; Nimrodel was gone. Aeron and Gwyllion were gone; so were Indil's parents. The Rohirrim still sang, softly, but Bella was silent. Mellonin wept. He longed to find peace for her.

Instead he turned to the elves, and placed one hand on Erebemlin's shoulder, and another hand on Taitheneb's head. Part of him wondered why he did so; yet even as he wondered, he saw Marigold lift her wrinkled face, and call Erebemlin; her voice was soft and golden. Slowly Erebemlin stirred, and looked down at Ravion as if from a great distance. Taitheneb slowly opened his eyes. Ravion heard Marigold speaking, long and low; the elves waited, numb with grief. Anon she ceased, and the elves closed their eyes again.

The Rohirrim ceased singing, and the glade was still.

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Old 10-11-2010, 12:16 PM   #14
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Between the reeds, shadows flickered as muddy eddies swirled. A fog had settled in over the marsh, and the porch was slippery. The old man leaned on the railing.

"Come to dinner," called a thin voice from within.

He did not want the oily marsh trout again, so he stood clutching the rail. She hobbled out, stood by him clutching the rail, and gazed at the eddies and the fish below.

The fish turned, and swam southward. They would have flickered silver in the sunlight but the fog was too thick.

"He will come to us soon, " she said.

He stirred. "I would rather he lived."

"Fear him not," she replied, in a voice no longer thin. He looked at her; she was clothed in green, and there were golden glints in her hair. He looked up; the sun was still behind the fog.

"Does he not owe the elf-lord his life? Erebemlin? Is he not bound to him?"" he replied.

She stood taller, and the green and gold grew brighter. "The elf-lord has released him. He will be home soon, " she said.

A thin voice called from within. "Come to dinner." He looked within, and his wife stood waiting. He looked back to the railing. There was no one.

He turned, and shuffled inside. "Mellondu will be home soon, " he said.

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Old 02-09-2011, 02:01 PM   #15
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Liornung waited, and wished he could sing. But the mist was too heavy.

He waited, and watched, especially the two elves. They felt so cold. WHy he could feel it he did not know; he had felt Erebemlin's fire, a little; now he felt their ice.

Yet it was not quite despair. Not quite. Erebemlin and Taitheneb stood locked in thought, lingering, wondering, missing the mountain elf; missing their golden king. Erebemlin missed Nimrodel, too; and even the blacksmith, a little.

In his mind's eye, Liornung saw a lady in green, with golden hair, by the riverside. Yet when he turned to the bank, there was no one.

Behind him, Taitheneb stirred, and looked toward the same spot on the bank.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:58 PM   #16
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Leaf

Beneath several minty-smelling quilts Mellondu slept deeply. His breathing was regular, and deep. Dried salt tracks whitened his face and his dark beard.

Marigold walked up the path towards her little house laden with herbs. She had walked far, but nothing had disturbed the lad; Jorje had seen to that. He thumped his tail on the floor at her as she entered the house, and Mellondu stirred. She added a handful of the fresh herbs to the kettle, hung the kettle over the fire, and bent down and brushed the hair from the blacksmith’s brow. “Sleep,” she whispered. “Be at peace.”

With a contented sigh, Jorje lay his head back down. Marigold smiled at him, and then returned her gaze to the blacksmith. His dreams were no longer of death, but neither were they of joy. She stood watch over him. Nearby, Taitheneb and Erebemlin waited; she smiled at them, and they faded from her sight, but they were near nevertheless.
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