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Old 07-03-2011, 03:17 PM   #1041
littlemanpoet
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Eodwine

“Lean on me, Eodwine,” Saeryn said. “Do you remember when I returned to Scarburg? I was sick, too.” She smiled up at him. “You were able to heal me then. Now it is my turn to help you.”

He felt weak and was grateful of the support she was giving him. She was leading him to a two storied building that he did not remember from before.

"Hold," he said. They stopped. He looked long at his surroundings. "Much as changed," he said, "for the better."

"If you mean the hall, yes, it is a good one," Saeryn replied. "Now come, we need to get some food and drink in you. To the kitchens."

They started walking again. "Is Lord Athanar in the kitchens?"

"He will be in his rooms unless he has come down to break his fast," she said.

"Take me to him, Saeryn, first."

"You are weak. You need food and drink."

"Take me to Lord Athanar, Saeryn. Falco? Where are you? Falco!" Eodwine looked around and saw the Hobbit. "Falco! Get me my sword! I have need of it!"

"Eodwine, are you sure you want a sword? A soup ladel and ale cup might be more to your liking," the Hobbit said.

"No! My sword! I need my sword! I need to see Lord Athanar. Now!" He was shaking in Saeryn's grip, and felt weaker than ever, but was determined.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:26 PM   #1042
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Saeryn could feel Eodwine’s body tremble with the exertion that it took to walk even with her help. She laid her hand on his breast and stopped him, looking up earnestly in his face. She had pressured him once, and he said no, and his reply was the same to Falco. But she was convinced that both she and Falco were right. Formalities were all very well and good to those in health, but he was cold, tired, and hungry. This was his home. Let him go and sit in warmth and eat and then go to bed and meet Athanar later.

“Eodwine,” she said, speaking gently. “Please come in first and rest and then go and meet him. I will go to him myself after you are inside and tell him you are here and need your rest first and then you can meet him later when you are more prepared.”

Eodwine sighed. He could feel the cold sweat sliding down his face. "My dear Saeryn, I know you mean the best. This is not mere formality. Now is the only good time to do what must be done." He looked her straight in the eyes. "Do not hinder me in this!"

Saeryn nodded, but she was unhappy with the decision. It would be better now to give in than to vex him further by refusing. So she turned and went towards the hall. Half way to the door, Falco met them with Eodwine’s sword. They paused, and with help, Eodwine buckled it about his waist before going on. Hilderinc ran ahead and opened the door for them and then entered the hall ahead of them and told the gathered company that Eodwine had arrived. A moment later, Saeryn and Eodwine entered.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:00 AM   #1043
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Eodwine

Eodwine looked around. It was darker inside than out. He peered into the relative gloom until his eyes adjusted.

"Hilderinc, I have a message for Lord Athanar from the king." He could hear the wavering in his own voice. It was distressing, but he was determined to see this through. "Please lead us to him."

Hilderinc nodded. "This way. Follow me."

"Saeryn," Eodwine asked, in a low voice, "is Lord Athanar right handed or left handed?"
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:33 AM   #1044
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“Sareyn,” Eodwine asked, “is Athanar right-handed or left-handed?”

Saeryn’s face was a picture of consternation and confusion. Eodwine shouldn’t even be going to meet Athanar, why was he concerned which hand Athanar preferred?

“I. . .uh. . .right handed,” she said. Instead of asking why that was important now, she whispered, “You will not take long giving your message?”

They were close to Athanar now, and the eorl was coming forward to meet them and Saeryn realized they were too near for Eodwine to answer her.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:29 PM   #1045
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Lord Athanar approached, a quizzical expression on his face. Eodwine and Saeryn stopped. He pulled himself from Saeryn's hold and stood shakily without assistance.

"I greet you, Lord Athanar," Eodwine said before the other could speak. "I have a message from King Eomer." He drew his sword and watched Athanar's right hand dart to his own. Before the eorl could take any further action, Eodwine dropped to one knee and crossed the hilts to his own left, and held the blade up in the palms of his hands before Athanar, whose hand slipped from his own sword hilt.

"My message from the king is this: "Athanar, I am sending Eodwine to you for your aid. He will be of some help to you. Use him well." Thus spoke Lord Eomer. For myself I say this. I offer you my sword and my aid as long as you will have me. I shall hold you as lord if and until you or the king frees me."

Athanar stood there and stared, tilting his head in consideration.

"Please take the sword, sir," Eodwine smiled. "'tis getting heavy and I am tired." His limbs and hands shook, but he was determined to hold the sword high until Athanar took it. After that, let come what may.

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Old 07-04-2011, 03:17 PM   #1046
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Lord Athanar was confused to see Eodwine kneeling and making his pledge. It took him a moment to adjust himself to the situation - and he was not sure if he got it in it's entirety. He hated all the scheming of the court and the plots of the lords outwitting each other; he preferred straight talk and straight action, if possible on horseback with fresh wind in his face and his men behind him. And he thought he knew lord Eodwine was in that respect similar to him even if they weren't that alike in some other respects. But this theatrics? He was unsure what to make of it. Even if he disliked scheming he had seen enough of it to know when to be alarmed.

But seeing Eodwine shaking still feeble from his illness, and smiling at the same time cut him fast back to the here and now where he had to act.

He took the sword and returned the smile - nodding to Eodwine for him to rise up. Backing it with his words. "Please lord Eodwine, please stand up."

Looking at the effort Eodwine had to give for rising up he laid the sword on the table and offered him his other arm while Saeryn helped him up from the other side.

Facing each other now both standing Athanar laid his hand on Eodwine's shoulder looking him at the eye. "Welcome Eodwine. I do appreciate the king's decision and your offer. We have a lot to talk, not only reminiscing the days of the Great War", here he smiled at Eodwine that odd smile many war-veterans tended to give each other whether they knew each other well or not, it was the brotherhood of all those taking part in the Great War. "But we need to discuss of many things of more close history, the present and the future... later. I see you're tired now and you have many faces to greet".

Athanar took his hand away from Eodwine's shoulder and nodded towards the stairs beside the fireplace behind them. "I had a bit larger and more comfortable room to be built upstairs there where I live with my good lady Wynflaed. I thought it would be handy if we ever got important guests." He paused letting Eodwine get what he was suggesting him.

"Yes", Athanar nodded, "if you accept the offer, I suggest you and Saeryn take that room. We can have men moving both of your's belongings there. We'll still have Saeryn's present room which is a bit smaller but good enough for any guest these roofs would see the coming winter."

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Old 07-05-2011, 02:08 PM   #1047
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Coen stood when Eodwine entered the hall, and gestured to the men at the table to follow suit. Those who had been in Eodwine’s service before Athanar’s rose proudly. Coen eyed Scyrr and Áforglæd, who looked a little sour, but stood and kept quiet. He caught Feargall’s eye, who gave him a knowing look. He was another steady man, good at keeping balance and order among the men, like Hilderinc. Áforglæd and Scyrr were good men and excellent soldiers, loyal to their lord, but though Scyrr was an experienced soldier, he had rough edges and at times seemed to pick up on some of the youthful hotheadedness of Áforglæd. And it seemed the two were holding on to grudges. Coen could not blame them.

Though Coen was not near, it seemed to him that Eodwine did not look like a man who had recovered his health. Perhaps he had wanted to return to his home too badly. The captain watched Eodwine approach Athanar and…kneel? As any man would offering his service. After all the stubbornness and arrogance of some of the members of the former eorl’s household, Coen had expected an equally arrogant man. Not a man who would kneel before his replacement.

Watching Athanar bring Eodwine back to his feet, Coen considered. Would this gesture silence residual contention? Or would it upset those loyal to him that he had kneeled at Athanar’s feet? At least they could not say it was at anyone’s command. Well, he supposed they could, if they wanted. He hoped this show of duty and humility would remind others of their duty and position. And he hoped that it was not simply a show.

Coen put on a light smile, trying to make a show of optimism and affability himself.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:30 AM   #1048
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Eodwine and Saeryn

Eodwine nodded and smiled. "Lord, I thank you for your kind offer. Please allow my wife and me to think it over. I would not have my former retainers thinking that you and I are two eorls in one eorldom who could be played one off the other, and having rooms so closely situated to your own might get them thinking in ways they should not. That is my fear. But my wife and I will think on it and return an answer to you as soon as we may. And maybe I should not be called lord.”

He bowed, leaning on his wife's arm for support, and then turned with her.

Saeryn and Eodwine walked away together. She was mildly surprised as Athanar's generousness and courtesy towards Eodwine. But, then, he had been pleased, had he not, to have Eodwine kneel to him and swear fealty. Anyone would who had come and usurped power and then the rightful lord had come back and proved to be no competition, much less a danger.

They mounted the stairs and finally came to Saeryn’s modest room. It was not large, but it was comfortable. Eodwine sank down on the bed with grateful sigh. Saeryn began to unclasp the heavy cloak from about his throat.

“Eodwine,” she said, her voice quiet and tentative.

“Yes, love?” he replied.

“Why did the king give your title away to Athanar when Athanar had done nothing to deserve it, and you had done nothing to lose it, save becoming ill?”

"'Tis not a matter of desert but of things needful. One might say that King Eomer may or may not deserve to be king, but such has become his role, and I am happy that he holds it well. Besides, my dear, I am just a lowly landowner and farmer who was raised above his place by the good graces of our king. I did the best I could, but I think Lord Athanar takes to it more naturally than I."

Saeryn smiled bitterly. “You do not know him well to say that. If Athanar took the role because he was descended by blood from an eorl, as King Eomer received the throne because he was the heir of King Theoden, then perhaps I would not question the decision our liege has made. You were raised up because you were just a humble landowner and had proved your mettle in battle and Eomer knew your heart, but Athanar is going to stay in your place as eorl even after you have returned because why?”

"There is a word they use in Gondor. We have none quite like it in the Mark. Continuity. There has already been much trouble for these folk. They left Edoras with me. They lived poorly here all summer and fall without a decent hall. Their lord fell sick, seemingly unto death. Another lord was set over them and the folk have had to accept him or leave - Falco has told me of the troubles with Lithor and Erbrand, and of others. To unseat the new lord to make place for the old would be one change too many."

“No one minded living poorly for you,” Saeryn said. “You won their hearts and their loyalty because you were as willing as the next man to do a full day’s work. It would not be a change for you to take your place as lord, Eodwine. It would be going back to normal for all of us. Folk have accepted him because there wasn’t anything else to do. Where do you expect a family like Stigend and Modtryth with their son, or Garstan with his two little ones, to go in the midst of winter? I’m telling you that you could be lord, and it would be right if you were. Athanar knows it. That is why he called you lord Eodwine. Speak to him, Eodwine, and perhaps he will give you your rightful place.”

Eodwine looked at Saeryn a long time after she had finished speaking. There was that fire in her that had won him to her from the start. Had it turned into ambition for their family? He thought of speaking of her condition as a way to calm her down, but knew that it would not do. He sighed.

"The king gives me my place, not Athanar. You know that. I am here because of you and the others who have become part of us. That is unchanged. You and I will be friends to each of them, as always. Give it time. We shall see what comes. There is time. I am hungry and thirsty. Let us go to the kitchens now."

Saeryn looked at him. She still did not agree with his point and she still thought that given the right pressure, the king may change his mind. But now was not the time to discuss it, clearly. Perhaps when Eodwine had eaten and rested he would be more willing to see it her way. So instead of continuing the disagreement, she nodded, and lowered her eyes to the floor in a sign, if not of submission, then at least of resignation. She took Eodwine’s hand and helped him up and then together they went down to the kitchen to greet the women folk there and get some breakfast for Eodwine.

As they entered the kitchen, Saeryn stepped before Eodwine and announced his arrival. "Ladies. Your eorl has returned."

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Old 07-07-2011, 03:50 AM   #1049
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Eodwine's face went red and his hand rose, open, as if he were ready to strike his wife. It was a short moment, but seemed long as his hand was lifted, poised but still. He lowered his hand slowly and turned to the women.

"I greet you all, but not as your eorl. Forgive my willful wife."

He stumbled toward a chair and fell into it, leaning across the table on both elbows. "I need some vittles."

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Old 07-07-2011, 06:45 PM   #1050
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Saeryn stood rooted just inside the door. She scarcely could have been more shocked if Eodwine had indeed struck her. She felt her temper rising as she stood contemplating his back while he sat at the table. Kara silently served Eodwine some breakfast. He began to eat, ignoring the silence of the women around him.

Forgive my willful wife, he had said of her, as though she were a child, who’s behavior must be excused if not punished. She seethed inwardly, and her hands curled into fists. Her eyes darted to each of the women in turn. Ginna was looking at her, but when their eyes met, she looked away again.

Then Saeryn knew that whatever she had to say to Eodwine had to be said in the privacy of their own room. Were she to tell him her mind now, she would appear like a stubborn, quarrelsome woman, and her standing, already wounded in the sight and hearing of these women, would go further down.

She turned, and left the kitchen, and as she went back to the room from where they had just come, hot, angry tears began to flow.

“What is the matter with him? Can he not see that I am right? How could he treat me so?”
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:21 PM   #1051
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Lord Athanar came out from his chambers after some eyeing on the plans for the last renovation of how the plans should be executed for the winter. They were really in a hurry with them, but now he had solved one of the the problems of warming the soldier's quarters farthest away from the hearth - and he was happy about it.

But stepping out from his door he met Saerynn sobbing in the corridor hastenig her way to her apartment. Lord Athanar had seen pregnant women more he could count, and this upset didn't look like one due only to the pregnancy.

"Lady Saeryn, is there something wrong?", he asked carefully while Saeryn was opening the door to her room. "Anything I can do for you?"
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:11 PM   #1052
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Saeryn stopped short in the doorway at the sound of Athanar’s query. She turned her head and looked at him. Here was the man who caused all the controversy between her and her husband. Here was the man who took what was rightfully theirs and held it. Her tears stopped and her eyes were like ice.

“You should not have let Eodwine swear his fealty to you,” she said in a low voice. “Eodwine is rightful eorl here, even if he will not rise up and take his place. I will do what I can to ensure that he is returned to his proper place. Wait and see if I do not.”

And without waiting for response, she stepped inside her room and shut the door behind herself.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:32 AM   #1053
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Ginna could see that Eodwine was not well. Neither was Saeryn, but beyond the physical. She tried to catch her eye and did so, but Saeryn quickly turned away and left. Whatever the matter was, it was clearly between husband and wife, not something to be shared with the kitchen wench.

The tension hanging in the kitchen was almost tangible. For a long while no one could say anything. This was not how Ginna imagined the women to welcome the eorl - nay, no longer the eorl, but she knew they all felt the same: Eodwine was still their lord. Perhaps that was why they did not know how to speak with him. How should they address the man who, for so long, held authority over them, but now is practically their equal?

Eodwine focused on his meal, unmindful of the women exchanging pointed glances at each other. They were all aware, however, that it would be most uncharacteristic of the cook to hold her tongue in his presence. For once Frodides seemed not at all eager for speech. But as she opened her mouth to speak, Eodwine broke the silence.

~*~

Eodwine ate and drank in silence, still shaking from the residual anger at Saeryn's words, as well as from the weakness of travel. It was not lost on him that she had turned on her heels and stormed out of the room. He sighed. It was not a good start.

For a fleeting moment he wished he were back in the House of Healing where all was quiet. He dismissed the thought. Surely there would be some way to see this through, for he and Saeryn to find harmony together.

He knew much that had happened while he had been away. Falco had told him much that he had himself been told, as well as some things that he had both heard and overheard. Eodwine was concerned for Thornden. He had not seen him yet, and wondered if all was well.

But the women were silent, which seemed most odd in Frodides, who usually spoke her mind with great alacrity and freedom. Kara was likely to make conversation and did not. Maybe they were ill at ease because he and Saeryn. He cast a glance at Ginna. She seemed more than uncomfortable. She seemed downcast. He liked to think that his coming would be greeted with more joy than that; so things maybe were not well with her.

"Ginna, tell me how it is with you. How is Harreld?"

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Old 07-11-2011, 10:31 PM   #1054
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Thornden and the Men in the Great Hall

Thornden stood when Eodwine entered, but he did not approach and he watched in silence, as all present did, as Eodwine knelt and swore fealty to Athanar. He did not know immediately how to respond or react to that. He saw Athanar reach out and receive the sword and bid Eodwine rise. He partially heard the short exchange of words between them before Eodwine and Saeryn left. Then he sat down in thoughtful silence.

Eodwine would be lord no longer. Did this surprise him? No. . .not really. King Eomer had sent Athanar as a permanent replacement, and this had been clear from the very first day. Eodwine of all people would not seek to regain any place of power. Thornden knew this, and though he had never thought of it before, he now realized that of course Eodwine would offer his loyalty to the new lord. Clearly, Thornden would continue as he had done before Eodwine’s return and serve Athanar faithfully without dividing his loyalty between him and Eodwine. He would speak with Eodwine, too, and ask if there was anything he might do for him. He felt still some connection with him, and having been his steward for the entirety of his time as eorl, Thornden hoped that he would still be able to stay close to him in counsel and aid, should Eodwine need it.

He was drawn away from his thoughts by the conversation of some men down the table from him. “I did not say I expected him to try to take his old place, I just did not expect him to swear loyalty to lord Athanar, as though he were a commoner.”

“Lord Eo-,” Thornden began, leaning forward, and then stopped himself. The men turned to look towards him. “I mean, Eodwine does not pretend in anything he does. He swore loyalty to Athanar because he really does mean to be subject to him in exactly the manner he made his oath in, and he meant to show us all that there is to be no division here between his old men and those who came after him.”

“Yes, I realize that,” Quin replied. In the past month, he had become comfortable with the Old Scarburgians and spoke freely, even with Thornden. “But I just thought. . .” He paused, and his face turned a shade red. “With how some people spoke about Eodwine’s return, and how they always talked about him, and hearing how loyally you all spoke of him, I really thought he would be a stronger man.”

Thornden glanced towards the door where Eodwine had departed from, leaning on Saeryn. “He is very sick,” he said. “He left Minas Tirith probably too early for his own good. He has never been a proud man, if you think that a strength he lacks. I do not think we could love him as we do were he proud. But to be humble is not a weakness."

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Old 07-12-2011, 06:51 PM   #1055
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Léof

Falco had ridden into the hall yard well ahead of the rest of Eodwine’s party. Léof was initially alarmed, thinking that something must have gone wrong and Falco had come to get help, but almost immediately he realized that Falco had come at far too leisurely a pace for that, besides the fact that he was not calling for help.

“Greetings, Master Falco! And welcome back!” said Léof. “But where is the rest of your party? How fares Lord Eodwine?”

“And good day to you,” said Falco as he pulled to a halt and dismounted, and Léof noticed immediately that the hobbit’s voice lacked some of its normal cheer. “The rest are coming along. Eodwine… you shall see soon enough. Too stubborn to wait long enough to be truly fit for travel.”

“But we had heard that he was well!” said Léof.

“And so he will be. But it is good that the road was not longer than it was,” said Falco.

Now the rest of the party was riding up, and Léof left Falco to attend to them. All thoughts of Saeryn’s delicate situation fled his mind when he saw Eodwine, for it was eminently clear that his state of health was far more precarious than his. In dismay, he held Eodwine’s horse as Hilderinc helped him from the saddle, then took two more horses from Saeryn as she helped Eodwine inside.

Léof took the horses into the stable and unsaddled them as quickly as he could. Falco had said that Eodwine was unfit, but this seemed a massive understatement to Léof. He had looked near to falling off his horse! And him as fine a horseman as any Léof had ever met! Clearly there was more to be told. Léof put the horses away and hurried into the hall. Eodwine and Saeryn were nowhere to be seen, but Thornden and Quin were both sitting with many of the other soldiers. Just then Thornden was talking. Léof heard as he approached: “I do not think we could love him as we do were he proud. But to be humble is not a weakness.”

He sat down beside Quin where there was an opening. “What have I missed?” he asked quietly.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:30 PM   #1056
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Coenred nodded at Thornden's words, leaning over the table a little to look at him. "Agreed, Thornden. Pride has its place, but men who are quick to challenge are not strong, but brash fools." Coen was thinking of a man or two in particular, such as the men Thornden had wished to protect.

But he let his eyes pass quickly over the men, including Áforglæd and Scyrr, and back to his gruel. These men were not fools, but pride could drive a man to foolish things.

The real question was no longer about Eodwine, as it never had been. It was about those people whose loyalty and pride -- or proud loyalty -- would be tested all over again. Coen desperately wanted to ask what Thornden thought of Eodwine's oath, and how he thought it would be received by those people he felt a particular loyalty and responsibility to, like a secondary lord. But he would not in front of the men. He had no intention of helping any renewed division along.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:40 PM   #1057
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“Agreed, Thornden. Pride has its place, but men who are quick to challenge are not strong, but brash fools.”

Thornden looked swiftly at Coenred, his eyes sharp for a second, but Coenred did not follow his comment up with anything more, and he did not meet Thornden’s eye for more than a second. His glance was not challenging, more curious than anything.

Thornden considered Coenred silently for some second. Since the incident with Erbrand and Lithor, he and the captain had not been in close fellowship. There had been a rift driven between them that he had been unable to remove. The fault was his, he knew, but he wished Coenred would at least speak to him, instead of holding his thoughts in silence.

While he thought thus, Quin was answering Leof’s question.

“Your old eorl, Eodwine, just came in, and the first thing he did was go to Athanar, kneel before him, and offer him his sword while swearing loyalty to him! And he, looking half dead at that! We were just now discussing it. . .he is not well, you know. So ill he went out leaning upon lady Saeryn as though he were an old man. I mean no disrespect, Thornden,” he added, turning again to him. Thornden looked over at him. “That is just how he was.”

Thornden shrugged and stood up. He moved over to Coenred and sat down across from him. The men about them were speaking, leaning closer to discuss things more thoroughly with Quin and Leof, and Thornden bent across the table towards Coenred.

“What are you thinking, Coenred? You seem to wonder about Eodwine’s manner of return as much as Quin, but in your older wisdom, you keep silent.”
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:18 PM   #1058
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Scyld/"Nydfara"

Scyld had crowded around with the rest of the Scarburgians at the arrival of the old eorl. Not for the first time in the last month, he found himself peculiarly moved by the loyalty Eodwine’s former household continued to show to him. It was the same sort of attitude that had driven Scyld to seek out these people in the first place – an attitude of selflessness, loyalty… love.

He still did not understand it.

Scyld’s loyalty was to himself – to seeing himself well-provided for, in the best position possible should events turn awry. He was a survivor – and his survival had more than once depended on him looking out for himself, because no one else would. Yet here were all these people, still showing such loyalty to a lord who could no longer serve them as a lord must. Making things harder for themselves by not simply accepting the rule of the new lord, no matter how different he might be from the old. Once, Scyld would have said that one master was just the same as another, but now he was not so sure.

Having lived and worked under both Sorn and Eodwine, he could hardly compare the two. He did not trust Eodwine, because Scyld still feared that if his history were found out he might be sent to the gallows. And if he did not trust Eodwine, he certainly did not trust Athanar and his heavy-handed sense of justice. However, he could not deny the air of freedom and camaraderie shared by those living in Scarburg – something he had never believed could really exist.

That being said, Athanar was no Sorn, and since those first couple of eventful days, Scyld could not really said that the hall fared any worse under Athanar than it had under Eodwine. So in that sense, a change in lord was not so great a hardship.

Still, he could not help but be curious to see how the meeting of the old and the new eorls would play out. Eodwine entered the hall, followed by Saeryn and the hobbit Falco. But then one came whom he was not expecting – Rowenna.

He was startled by his own reaction to seeing her: he felt like his heart was hammering in his throat. Could it be that he had actually missed her? She was certainly interesting, more interesting to him than most of the people in the hall. Like him, she was a survivor – ambitious, and ruthless, perhaps. Not just a little pretty, to sweeten the deal… but vicious. Scyld suddenly recalled his last significant interaction with her had ended in her smacking him across the face.

He realized that he was staring and forced his attention back to Eodwine. Of all the absurd things to be thinking of – a woman! It seemed that all this time he had been spending pretending to be Nydfara was finally getting to his head. Next thing he’d be fluttering and sighing (or crying, as had been the case lately) over the hall romances like the kitchen girls.

He had pulled himself from his reverie just in time to catch Eodwine swearing his fealty to Athanar. Now there was an unexpected turn. He would be interested to hear what the others thought of that. As was his habit, he faded into the background to watch and listen.

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Old 07-13-2011, 01:48 PM   #1059
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Coen waited to look up at Thornden until the man started to speak. He gave a small smile. “Older wisdom? I hope that is not an attempt at flattery.” He paused, his features growing tighter again. “Naturally I have wondered about his return for some time. And now some questions are answered, but others…”

He twisted his mouth in some distaste at speaking about this so openly. Then he lowered his voice. “Of course I wonder what this will stir back up. Will Eodwine’s fealty be echoed by his people?”
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:24 PM   #1060
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Thornden’s level gaze did not lower at all when Coenred spoke rather stingingly. He studied him carefully as he finished. “Of course I wonder what this will stir back up. Will Eodwine’s fealty be echoed by his people?”

Thornden drew back a fraction. “I would not be surprised if there was some questioning of his decision at first, but there will be no rebelling, no violence. Eodwine will soon assure everyone that what he has done is best, and he will restore order, if order must be restored. Do you fear otherwise?”
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:43 PM   #1061
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Léof was stunned. “He didn’t!” he exclaimed, as Quin explained to him what had happened. Léof wasn’t sure, exactly, what he had expected to happen. Certainly Athanar had made no preparations to leave Scarburg after learning of Eodwine’s return, but Léof had still somehow figured that since Eodwine was back he would naturally take charge again.

“Aye, he did. Just like Quin said,” said Hylath.

He couldn’t believe he’d missed it. Had it really been just as Quin said? Maybe Athanar had said something to him to make him do it… but no. Thornden was sitting right there, too. He would have said something. Léof glanced down at him, but Thornden was no longer following the conversation, instead having his own private one with Coenred. That made Léof a little uncomfortable, since everyone else in the group had come in with Athanar. Or, almost everyone – there was that Nydfara, down at the other end of the table. Ever since Nydfara had confronted him in the stable, Léof didn’t trust him a bit. All in all, he thought, better not to say too much in this conversation. Nothing too controversial, anyway. “Well. Didn’t see that one coming…” said Léof.

“No one did, that’s just it,” said another of the soldiers. Léof still had trouble keeping all their names straight.

“I expected a bit more of a fight, myself,” said Scyrr. Léof did not like Scyrr; he was one of the soldiers most condescending towards Léof’s position as stablemaster. “But it’s like Quin said, the old eorl seemed more than halfway to the grave. Not much of a fighter. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was dead within the week, and all this hubbub for nothing.”

“He has had a long journey,” chided another soldier. “Besides, now he’s got that pretty young wife of his to care for him. I’d get sick too if I could get in on some of that.” A round of laughter followed this comment.

“Enjoy it better if you weren’t sick,” someone chimed in, and the laughter rose louder. Léof felt distinctly uncomfortable hearing the Lady Saeryn discussed this way, and he wished he had a way of turning the conversation back to Eodwine. Fortunately he was saved the effort, for their ribald jests had not gone unnoticed by Thornden.

“Hold your tongue,” Thornden said severely. His eyes clapped onto the last soldier who had spoken. “If you cannot speak respectfully of Lady Saeryn, then don’t speak at all.” He glanced about the table, taking them all in. “Another word in a similar thought, and I’ll see the man outside.” After a pause, he turned again to Coenred and they took up their conversation once more.

There was a moment of silence amongst the soldiers before someone spoke up again.

“What I’d like to know is, why didn’t Lord Athanar formally accept Eodwine’s pledge? He said they had many things to discuss. That sounds to me like it’s not really over.”

Léof’s ears perked up at that. Maybe things weren’t as set in stone as Quin had made it sound? “Does that matter?” he asked. “Did Eodwine only offer loyalty, or swear it?"

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Old 07-14-2011, 08:05 PM   #1062
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Eodwine

"Ginna, tell me how it is with you. How is Harreld?"

The eyes of all the women in the kitchen turned towards Ginna, surprised and then sympathetic. She felt her face growing hot, and a sinking feeling in her stomach as though she had been punched. This was a question she expected, but not here and now. Lord Eodwine, she wanted to say, have you absolutely no sense of subtlely? She suppressed these thoughts with a self-conscious swallow.

"I suppose he's well, uh-" she realised she still did not know how to address him, and left the sentence hanging. "I haven't seen much of him these past weeks. Busy with his work and helping Garreth settle, I suspect."

Eodwine stared at her for a moment, shocked. Lovers make time for each other, sometimes no matter what the cost, he thought. Things were not well between them? He would have to ask Saeryn ... well, not until things were made right between them. He would talk with Ginna alone, later, about that.

"So Garreth is here now too. That is good news. No doubt there is more than enough work for both of them now that Scarburg has twice the warriors. But-" He was about to ask her how she was, but if things were not well between her and Harreld, it would also be a difficult question. "So tell me how things are at Scarburg as you see it from the kitchen."

Ginna gently exhaled in relief that Eodwine chose not to pursue the topic of Harreld further, at least for the meantime. When he next asked her about him, she would be prepared. Perhaps prepared even for what she would ask of Eodwine. She wondered if it would be better to have that conversation with Harreld present. She set the thought aside.

"We hardly even take our eyes off of the kitchen, there's simply too much work to be done here," Frodides replied with a look at Ginna, who smiled at her gratefully. "But since we have not heard news of brawlings or shouting matches, perhaps things have become more peaceful since Athanar arrived."

A small silence settled. Modtryth's mind had been elsewhere - Saeryn's follies, and where had she run off to, if the boys were still trying to catch fish with their bare hands or do something about as idiotic, Bema only knew how big part of the day she had spent stopping them from even more tomfoolery than on an average day - but now she was there. She hated to be the stromcrow, but Eodwine needed the truth.

"Lord Eodwine," she said. "Not all has been well, I'm afraid. There was much strife between Lord Athanar's folk and yours in the beginning - I don't know if you know, but Erbrand and Lithor are gone after Erbrand stabbed one of Athanar's men. Lots of smaller conflicts too, starting from Javan hitting Lord Athanar's daughter. It was a mess... it's been more peaceful for the last month or so, everybody's getting settled in, and I reckon the trouble with the landlords is past too. And of course, week by week this place becomes more like a proper meadhall, although there is still much to do, most notably the sheep don't have a place yet." She stopped, quite out of breath. Modtryth was a quiet woman, not used to talking so much at once, especially not to high lords, even high lords as amiable as Lord Eodwine.

Eodwine smiled. "Some of what you say is known to me, Modtryth. I must ask you not to call me 'lord' anymore, for I no longer hold the title, and I am not your eorl. I am your friend. I hope that is enough."

Rowenna

She had walked with Eodwine and Saeryn to Athanar, where she had spotted a familiar face; her gut wrenched. The last dealing she had had with the owner of that face had been a tongue lashing in her rage. She could almost feel the sting in her palm from having slapped him so hard.

Nydfara.

She kept her eyes on Eodwine as he knelt and offered his sword and aid, which was not quite accepted by the new eorl. This much she noticed.

But she could not get Nydfara out of her head. There was that same pull she had felt before, and she knew why it was there. There was that something about him that put her in mind of her two years with the brigands. It had been a hard life and she had been unfairly used by them; yet there had been something about the life that she had loved. It had been adventurous; she had had to keep her wits about her and had learned the subtle use of her womanhood in that hard life. She had become adept at getting them to do her bidding without them quite realizing it was her will they were following. It had been a heady experience. She felt it calling to her again, just by being near Nydfara.

She had also become embittered and deeply wounded during those two years, and she knew deep down that any talk or dealings or more with Nydfara would likely send her back into that. She did not want it; she wrestled down the vixen in her nature and paid Nydfara not the least attention.

When Saeryn and Eodwine had gone to their rooms, Rowenna had gone to the stables to help with the mounts, and then was shown to the room she would call her own. She put away her things and made the little room her own, as much as could be done in a short time, and then went to the Hall.

Most everyone was gathered and talking in big groups or small. Not surprisingly, a lot of the talk was about Eodwine. Where was Falco? Nowhere to be seen in the Mead Hall? How odd. She wondered where he was. With a quick glance she saw Nydfara at the end of one of the tables where the men sat. She passed by without a glance and made her way to the women, and Eodwine. Saeryn was not in the Hall.

Eodwine had just finished speaking when she arrived. She greeted the women and turned to Eodwine. "Where is Lady Saeryn, Eodwine? I would speak with her."

"She is in our room, I think," he answered. He still did not look well, and his face seemed more pinched just then, speaking of his wife. "Go see her if you like. It has been a long time since you have had a chance to talk to each other."

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Old 07-14-2011, 08:54 PM   #1063
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When Rowenna knocked on Saeyrn’s door, Saeryn was sitting on the edge of the bed, thinking. Her hands rested in her lap, clenched, and her lips were pressed hard shut. She looked up at the sound of the knock and then answered it. “Who is it?”

“'Tis Rowenna. May I come in?”

Saeryn paused, and then replied that she could. She stood as the door opened and when Rowenna entered, Saeryn went forward to greet her, putting her arms about her and kissing her cheek.

“I did not have time to welcome you back before, Rowenna,” she said, smiling briefly. “I trust you are well?”

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Old 07-15-2011, 10:57 AM   #1064
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Quin

“Did Eodwine only offer loyalty, or swear it?” Léof asked.

Quin tilted the cup of water in his hand and watched the liquid swirl. “Let’s see,” he said, thinking. “Yes, I’d say he swore it. He said, ‘Here is my sword,’ he was kneeling at this time and had offered Athanar the hilts of his sword, and he went on, ‘and I offer you my aid as long as you need it.’ And here is where I think he really swore it, ‘I will hold you as lord until you or the king release me.’” Quin nodded his head. “He said that. ‘I will hold you as lord,’ and if that isn’t saying Athanar was eorl, and Eodwine no longer was, then I don’t know what would be. Athanar took the sword, too. He set it on that table. . ." he pointed, and then paused. "He must have taken it with him," he said when the sword was no where in sight.

He shrugged and looked at Léof. “So, what do you think? You’ve been with Eodwine for a long time, and I imagine your reaction will reflect those of the others, too. Were you expecting this?”
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:11 PM   #1065
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Rowenna

“I did not have time to welcome you back before, Rowenna,” she said, smiling briefly. “I trust you are well?”

Rowenna sat beside Saeryn on her bed. "I am well," she answered. Saeryn smiled only briefly. Her welcome had been gracious and warm, so Rowenna guessed that Saeryn was not feeling ill toward her.

"But why are you here in your room while Eodwine is in the hall?"

Eodwine

Eodwine was not ready to go to his wife and had watched Rowenna leave the Hall. He did not know what to think, what Rowenna might be able to say or hear from Saeryn. He turned and faced the women.

"Frodides, I am not hungry or thirsty anymore. I feel that I need some air. Ginna's father did ask me to look after her, and it is high time that I took up my responsibility again. Would it be asking too much for you to spare your serving woman for a little while?

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Old 07-17-2011, 07:48 AM   #1066
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Saeryn looked away from Rowenna. Her hands slipped from her lap and clutched the quilt on the bed. For a moment, she said nothing in response to Rowenna’s query. She did not know what to tell her. She and Eodwine had not quarreled seriously as man and wife, and Saeryn did not know if she should tell Rowenna everything, or even part of it.

“We do not see eye to eye on a matter,” she said slowly. “And just now, he has treated me unfairly and ungraciously.” She felt a hot flush creep up her neck, and though she did not say that he put her down before the other women, she felt it sorely.

“I think you would agree with me, Rowenna, in this. Perhaps you can help persuade him that I am right.”
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:11 PM   #1067
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Frodides looked briefly at Ginna, and then turned back to Eodwine saying, "All right, I can spare her. But bring her back before noon, and in one piece."

"Of course," he replied with a laugh, rising slowly from his seat. Ginna proceeded to walk towards him but stopped and, after a moment's hesitation, took off her apron. As she reckoned that Eodwine would speak with her as Randvér's daughter and not as a servant of the hall, it seemed to her fitting. She wrapped herself warmly before following his lead out the back door.

She thought Eodwine meant to sit nearby to get the air he needed, but he had other plans. He kept on walking farther from the hall, looking around with interest, taking in all the changes, breathing again the air of Scarburg after a long time of absence. He seemed to her at ease despite the evidence that life in the mead hall had continued without him, and that he now returned to it as one of different standing. Ginna, on the other hand, was uncomfortable with his silence. She shivered in the winter chill, realising how long it was since she had left the warmth and familiarity of the kitchen.

"E- Eodwine," she finally said, not without discomfort at omitting his former title, "I am aware that I have not answered your first question earlier. I do not want to add to your problems, even something as-- as trivial as mine, but you have mentioned your duty to my father and I know you would insist." She paused, feeling his gaze on her, and met his eyes. "Not all has been well with me these past weeks."
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:06 PM   #1068
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Eodwine

It was good to get out in the fresh air. He walked slowly away from the Hall, and Ginna walked with him. He liked what he saw. They had done well in his absence. He would have expected nothing else.

He did not immediately bring them around to his earlier question. It was not that he wanted to put Ginna off. Rather, he was at ease. The young woman was his friend's daughter, but he appreciated her for who she was. He was beginning to prepare his words to her when she spoke. He was glad that she observed his request not to use the old title. He smiled sadly as she gave herself short shrift to him.

"Not all has been well with me these past weeks."

By which she meant that not all was well between her and Harreld. He had thought so.

"I am sorry, Ginna. Has the return of Garreth distracted Harreld from his pledgetroth to you?" She shook her head. "No?" She looked up at him, her face so sad. "Has Harreld said or done something to hurt you?"
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:22 PM   #1069
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Rowenna and Saeryn

Rowenna's brow knitted. It was unlike Eodwine to treat anyone unfairly or ungraciously. She did not know what to say. The last thing she wanted to do now was to agree with one of them against the other. "Saeryn," she said tentatively, "I am grateful to both of you for the kindness you have shown me. If your cause is truly just, does he need persuading from me? What is the matter you do not agree on?"

"His status here," Saeryn replied. "He was set as eorl by the king. When he left, Athanar came and took his place, but I believe that now he has returned, he should retake what is rightfully his. But he does not see it that way."

Rowenna placed her hand on Saeryn's hand gripping the quilt. "He did not tell Falco and me that he was going to kneel before Athanar. I was as surprised as you. One thing is clear, though. It was his first deed when he back back. So he must have it close to his heart that he will not be eorl." Suddenly it dawned on Rowenna. "And it is close to your heart that he should be eorl. But you said that he treated you unfairly. Was that be kneeling before Athanar?"

"No," Saeryn said. Her hand trembled beneath Rewenna's, and she had to work on holding back tears. "He would not listen to me from the very beginning. Yes, this must've have been close to his heart, because he would not even come in and eat when I urged him at first." Her words were so scattered that she found it difficult to keep track of them herself. "But that's not even what I'm talking about. He called me willful before Frodides and the other women in the kitchen." She stopped and she had trouble drawing a breath. Her eyes stung and she couldn't speak, so many emotions were hitting her at once. "And I swear, though I am not certain, he was about to strike me." Until this moment it had not quite occurred to her how much she felt that. But he so rarely was angry with anyone that she could not help but feel it.

"Oh, Saeryn! Are you sure?" It was hard for Rowenna to imagine Eodwine even coming close to striking any one, especially a woman. She doubted that it was something Saeryn dreamed up, but it seemed so out of his character. She had been struck over and over among the brigands, and had come to expect it; she realized now that it had been one of the things that had most hardened and embittered her. It would have truly scared Saeryn, to see in her husband even the possibility for something so ugly. "How did it happen?"

Saeryn stared straight ahead for a moment, unable to say a word for fear of crying. She tried too soon and broke into tears as soon as she began. "I guess I pushed him to his limits. I may have been slightly aware that I was testing him, I don't know! But then, when I went in and told the ladies that he had returned, and I called him their eorl...that's when it happened."

Rowenna closed her eyes tight and winced. "Oh no." She opened her eyes again and looked at Saeryn in sympathy. After Eodwine's deed before Athanar, calling him their eorl would have been like Saeryn slapping him in the face. "Oh Saeryn, I'm sorry."

She was at a loss for words. They had both hurt each other. "Maybe you should talk to each other."

"I've tried talking to him, but he doesn't listen. It's as though he were actually happy with how things are. He doesn't seem to realize that he has been robbed of his eorldom. Do you have any idea what it will be like to be the wife of the man who should be eorl, but see another in his place every day?" She turned bleary eyes to Rowenna. "Have you any idea?"

"No, my dear, but I do know what it is like to want to be the eorl's wife and have that dream dashed in a moment." Saeryn looked up at her in sudden startlement. "No," Rowenna said, shaking her head and smiling, "I do not grudge you at all. You and Eodwine love each other, and I am happy for you. Why do you want Eodwine to have the eorldom back?"

"Because it's his!" Saeryn replied vehemently. She stood up and paced the room. "Athanar has no right to take Eodwine's place here. Perhaps it would have been one thing, if Eodwine had done something to deserve the king's displeasure, but he has not. He got ill, and they did not expect him to get better - well and good - but now he is back. And Athanar still sits in his seat." She stopped and looked Rowenna square in the eye. "Don't you see anything wrong with that? Or am I just making trouble over nothing?" She paused again, and before Rowenna could reply, she went on. "No. Perhaps you, and perhaps Eodwine, think that I am just greedy, and married him for his status. Well, that's not it. I love Eodwine," her voice broke with tears, but she went on, "And I would have married him had he been a servant of another eorl, but he's not, and he should never have to be."
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:53 AM   #1070
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Rowenna had had two years to watch and influence the disagreements and the pride of brigands. None of that had prepared her for this. Saeryn felt that she was looking out for Eodwine's best interests, and Eodwine seemed to have a different view on the matter.

"Saeryn, dear, what does Eodwine want?"
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:09 AM   #1071
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Saeryn looked at her as though the question had never crossed her mind. "What does he want?" she repeated. "I don't know what he wants, but I don't think we'll get a chance to see. He will do whatever he thinks is right. And he obviously thinks that it is right to obey the king without question. I just want him to see that it's not right."

She paused, frustrated with her own thoughts. "I respect the king, and I respect his decisions, but he has made an error this time. Apparently nobody except me sees that." She turned and sat down again. "Do you think I am wrong, too?"
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #1072
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"Has Harreld said or done something to hurt you?"

Ginna shook her head again. "It would be unfair to lay the blame on him. He only wanted me - wanted us - to obey my father's will."

Eodwine gave her a quizzical look, his attention on her as though all else around was forgotten.

"My father sent me a letter a moon ago, telling of his favour for Thornden over Harreld." She stopped herself from saying that Harreld also read the letter without her knowledge. She did not want to cast a bad light on him before the former eorl, and it no longer mattered. "I tried to convince Harreld to set aside my father's wishes - that was all it was to me - but he would not. I asked him to help me change his mind, but he was unwilling."
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:16 PM   #1073
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“So, what do you think? You’ve been with Eodwine for a long time, and I imagine your reaction will reflect those of the others, too. Were you expecting this?” Quin asked.

I expected that if Eodwine came back, Athanar would leave. If it had been just Quin he was talking to, Léof might have said it. But not to so many newcomers. Not to Nydfara. The atmosphere of the hall was too charged with tension, and Léof did not wish to accidentally start a fight. “I don’t know that you could say I’ve been with Eodwine ‘a long time,’” Léof hedged. “Less than a year. And I knew him less well than some of the others. But no, I did not expect this, nor did the idea ever occur to me. I doubt anyone else really expected it, either.”

“Then perhaps none of you knew your lord so well as you thought,” suggested Nydfara, joining the conversation for the first time.

Léof scowled at him. “Well enough,” he said. “Are you saying that you did expect it?”

“I made no such claim,” replied Nydfara lightly. “Though I do not find it unreasonable of him, if forestalling division was his goal. A hall cannot have two lords.”

“Well, no, but –” But what? Léof realized he didn’t really have a reply to that statement. Hadn’t he been trying to avoid an argument? “I didn’t say Eodwine did wrongly,” said Léof, still irritated but trying not to let it show. “Just that I wasn’t expecting it.”

~*~*~

Scyld inclined his head, allowing the young stablemaster to have the point (unless someone else wished to take it up, of course). He did not wish to appear to be a trouble-maker, after all, or a picker of needless quarrels. He also knew that there were some of Athanar’s soldiers who would agree with his words; he had seen a couple of nodding heads when he spoke. One could never have too many allies.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:34 PM   #1074
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Quin rubbed his chin and listened to the other two young men speaking. He had spent enough time with Leof to know his association with Eodwine, but he did not know Nydfara well. He did not know if Nydfara knew Eodwine any less than Leof knew him, but Quin did pick up a little bit of defensiveness in Leof’s voice when Nydfara spoke. He guessed that Leof thought he should know Eodwine better than Nydfara – perhaps he had been part of Eodwine’s household before him.

Once Nydfara subsided, Quin again addressed Leof. “I don’t think anyone thought you were saying Eodwine did wrong. I guess I am curious to know what you did expect.”
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:00 PM   #1075
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“I guess I am curious to know what you did expect.”

Drat Quin’s persistence! The very question Léof had been trying to sidestep. No way to avoid it now though. So he said, “I didn’t think about it all that hard, but I guess I thought that Athanar would leave.”
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:15 PM   #1076
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Rowenna

"Perhaps you," said Saeryn, "and perhaps Eodwine, think that I am just greedy, and married him for his status. Well, that's not it. I love Eodwine," her voice broke with tears. "And I would have married him had he been a servant of another eorl, but he's not, and he should never have to be."

Saeryn lapsed into silence and saw to her tears. Rowenna's thought ran fast and in ways she was ashamed of, but old habits were hard to break: how could she use this to her own benefit? No. That would be unfair to Saeryn. Rowenna was here for Saeryn, to help her during the months left while she was with child. Unless she could use it to the benefit of both of them? What about Eodwine? He was a good man and she liked him. How could she use this for his benefit also? Find a way to make him eorl? But she knew that he did not want that. Or did she know that? Maybe he really was diong what he felt was right and was his duty, and would want to be eorl if he thought it possible? The best thing would be to sound him out. But what about Saeryn right now, who had begun to watch her eyes as her thought raced.

"Saeryn, dear, do you really think the king is wrong? Might he be persuaded of it?"
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #1077
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"I asked him to help me change his mind, but he was unwilling," Ginna answered.

Eodwine studied Ginna. He waited a moment to see if she would say more. She was putting a brave face on a very difficult matter, one that pained her deeply. He could see that much.

"Did he say why, Ginna?"
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:57 AM   #1078
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"He believes my father will never let us be wed because of his station. That, if not Thornden, then he will keep on looking for another man fit to be my husband."

Reliving that conversation, for the first time since she talked with Saeryn that fateful night, tore her inside, but it no longer brought her to tears. Perhaps she had become weary of it. Perhaps there was nothing left to be shed. Whatever the reason was, she was grateful for it. She felt that crying in front of Eodwine would make this appear more difficult for her, as well as for him, than she wanted him to see.

"I think he misunderstood my father's words. For me, that was his way of telling me that I have the freedom to decide for myself. But so long as Harreld has made up his mind, it does not matter what I think. He did say, however," she added, feeling a faint hope rise within her as it did whenever she remembered those words, "that if a way may be found for us to be together, he would walk it with me."

Ginna looked at Eodwine, an unspoken question in her eyes. Feeling the warmth rising in her cheeks out of shame for her selfishness, she turned away quickly.

Last edited by Lhunardawen; 07-22-2011 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:08 PM   #1079
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Saeryn

“Do you reall think the king is wrong? Might he be persuaded of it?”

Saeryn lifted her head and looked at her. “Of course the king is wrong,” she said. She sniffed and wiped her eyes. “I do not mean to be disrespectful, but that is how it is. And. . .I don’t know. . .maybe he could be persuaded of it, but what do you want me to do? Ride to Edoras and inform King Eomer that he is mistaken and must put Eodwine back in his seat as eorl? If Eodwine was angry about me announcing his arrival as eorl to the women in the kitchen, he would be even more angry about me going to court. I have to convince Eodwine of what is right before I try to convince the king.

--

Quin

“I didn’t think about it all that hard, but I guess I thought that Athanar would leave.”

Quin put his cup down on the table with a clump and stared at Leof. Some of the other men had the same reaction, but not all of their glances were quite as devoid of suspicion and anger as Quin’s look.

“You really mean that,” Quin marveled. “You really thought that he might go?”

“Impudence,” muttered Scyrr. “After all lord Athanar has done for you…”

Quin frowned, but did not ask Scyrr to keep quiet. He kept his eyes on Leof, and he realized how uncomfortable he had become admitting what he’d just said. Quin regretted pressing the issue, but it was too late now. He had more questions he would like to ask Leof, but later would have to suffice. To press for more thoughts now on the matter would probably only make the other men angrier with Leof, and that would not do.

“I. . .I think I need to get to work, or something,” he said lamely. Surely, there was work to be done. They had tarried longer than usual at the breakfast table this morning. He got up and walked away.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:18 PM   #1080
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Coen’s eyebrows rose. Eodwine would ‘restore order?’ What did Thornden mean by that? While Eodwine seemingly let go of his former position willingly, or at least accepted the king’s decisions without grudge, these people would not let his power go.

“Lord Athanar will keep order in this hall, and I am sure Eodwine will not do anything to disrupt that order.”

He stood and looked at the rest of the men at the table just after Quin left. The young man had the right idea. “You’ve all lingered enough at table. Those of you who have duties this morning better get to them.” Coen then left the hall, planning to check to see if Athanar had need of him before making his rounds to see that the men were at their duties or appropriately occupied.

Not all of them had work to do this morning or posts to be at, though he did his best to keep their hands busy. There was always labor about the hall they could help with, especially since some building was still in progress. But this morning, even just breaking them up from sitting all together at the table might keep things a little quieter… With all those men together and recent events on their minds and tongues, he did not want to return to those first days at the hall.

Last edited by Durelin; 07-22-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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