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Old 07-10-2006, 03:26 PM   #55
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.

One slash to the man’s arm, just one – that was all Khamir had been able to manage before all of the attackers were gone, and he did not think slitting open a dog counted for much. Easterlings: almost as bad as Gondorians, and perhaps worse even than Orcs, in the Southron’s mind. He wished he had been able to do a lot more damage. Wiping droplets of blood off his blade into the grass, the man was reluctant to investigate the scene further. He didn’t want to know how many were injured or killed or…

“Gone! Gone!” a woman wailed, and Khamir’s heart sank even lower in his chest. It was far too heavy to hold up, now, so he gave in. It seemed only sensible that first priority be taking care of the wounded, and so he called out for those who he knew were at least adequate healers, even if their work was rough, having had to learn the hard way. He gave quick instructions that everyone was to search the camp for the injured or dead. Then he found the woman who had cried out. She knelt on the ground, and was unable to speak for several minutes, but Khamir waited patiently.

“The two children…the two beautiful children… Oh, they were so little! And they’re gone…”

“Dead?” Khamir asked, though he regretted it almost before the word fully escaped his lips. The women sobbed harder than before, and again he was forced to wait until she managed an “I don’t know,” clearly disturbed by the fact that she did not know where these children she had at least kept an eye on for the past couple months, if not more. It was unlikely that either was actually her child, but she cried and tore at herself as if they were the last things left that she loved, and most likely they were.

If two children were missing, that had been the attackers’ purpose. The Easterlings were after their bodies. They could make a fortune if they managed to recapture a good number of the fifty that so recently escaped, no to mention if they recaptured the entire group. The bounty for escaped slaves was normally as large as the master of the plantation could manage, which, from what Khamir had heard of this one, was probably quite a bit. There was no doubt in his mind that they would be back.

He rubbed his hand over his face, feeling at a complete loss. Luckily, the group was good at taking care of each other, and any divisions among it were lost in such an event. They all had been forced to live hard lives with strangers, and had to learn to keep each other alive somehow. Perhaps there was even a reason for slavery, if it was enough to break all such borders. Khamir gritted his teeth. He had to keep a calm head.

“Khamir!” came a sudden shout, and the one-armed man literally growled, not even bothering to turn to the sound. He heard heavy footsteps from someone running coming closer, and he doubted he would have to ask the person to say what he or she wanted to.

“Khamir! The blade you gave me has been taken! Fewerth took it!” Out of the corner of his eye, Khamir caught dark hair and brown skin, and easily connected to voice to a face: Hadith, the boy that Beloan had so much faith in. So the kid wasn’t even able to hold on to his knife? Fewerth…it took a minute for the Southron to recognize the name. Fewerth was closer to his own age, though the two had nothing else in common. He seemed mostly rotten, and apparently had not grown out of some childhood tendencies.

“I don’t have time for this, Hadith,” he said, turning to the boy and looking him in the eye for but one moment, just to make sure he understood that he was serious. The boy had been wounded, apparently, bandages wrapped around his head. But were they injuries out of bravery or foolishness?

Turning away from Hadith, Khamir went to locate his gang. All fourteen seemed pretty much unscathed, except for the occasional dog bite. He was not as concerned about them, though, as he wanted to make sure they were all prepared for long days and long nights ahead of them. They could not allow another attack like this. If the goal had been only to take a few, then the attack itself was merely a diversion, and it was likely that next time, the attack would be much larger and would hold more of a purpose. When the bounty hunters did come back, they would be prepared for the big catch, so the slaves would have to be prepared to. But even before that, there was an important matter that needed attending to.

“Who had the third watch?” Khamir asked, looking over those from his gang who were nearest him. It was only a matter of minutes before the young man of the third watch was brought in front of the one-armed Haradrim. Adnan still gripped his knife in his hand. His eyes were dry, but opened wide. He hardly blinked, and he stared at the ground with a look on his face that could only be described as horror. Khamir tore the knife from the boy’s hand.

“What did you do?” he asked Adnan simply.

Adnan did not reply.

“Answer me.”

“It’s more what he didn’t do,” one of Khamir’s men spoke up, an edge of bitterness to his voice.

“You did not hurt anyone yourself, boy, but you did nothing to keep anyone from being hurt. And we can’t risk that ever happening again.” He held up the knife. “And if I cannot trust your eyes, I will surely not trust your hands.”

Khamir avoided Adnan’s eyes for a reason, and that reason pained him. But he had a purpose.

“Hadith, come here,” he called the boy to him, and gave him he knife he had taken from Adnan. “If you lose your knife again, to anyone, I cannot say you’ll get another.”

Turning back to the members of his gang, he was slightly taken aback by the absence of Adnan. The boy had disappeared in a flash, and without the one-armed man taking notice. Perhaps he had made a mistake….

Khamir shook his head, gladly scrambling some of his thoughts. “How long do you think before we can get all of them moving again?” he asked no one in particular, though with a glance he caught the eyes of Shae and Beloan, among those standing nearest him. He ignored any stares he received for asking the question at such a time, only minutes after an attack. He would not feel even the least bit at ease until they were on the move again.

Last edited by Durelin; 07-22-2008 at 09:50 AM.
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