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Old 03-21-2011, 06:12 PM   #91
Pitchwife
Wight of the Old Forest
 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Unattended on the railway station, in the litter at the dancehall
Posts: 3,145
Pitchwife is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Pitchwife is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Pitchwife is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Pitchwife is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
"Zat will be for the best, I zink", Coldan agreed, dragging Harrenon away from the bakery before the huge captain of the guard who had shown up in the least convenient moment could think of inquiring what legitimate interest two civilians, whose friends had just caused rumours of fighting and murder, could have in finding an armoury. As for Branor and Therian, Amdr could probably be relied on to take the two goodfornothings back to the inn without much further mayhem, and once there, Brinn would have a word or two with them that would hopefully put some reason into their heads, if reason could bear to dwell there.

He clapped his companion on the shoulder reassuringly. "Don't take it to heart too much", he said, trying to sound more confident than he actually felt. "Not all is lost yet. It doesn't look to good for us right now, I'll give you zat, but ve'll make it yet - and if I hev to rewrite that dratted script myself." A mere day ago, he wouldn't have had the slightest doubt in his ability to do that - after all, correcting another man's mistakes couldn't be as hard as composing from scratch, could it?, and he had often irritated Brinn by improvising what he thought improvements to his lines on stage. Since the news that the King himself was going to attend their performance, however, the stakes had been raised considerably, and under that pressure, he was beginning to feel ever so slightly less certain of his own abilities. If he was quite honest with himself, he knew that he would never finish a revision in the time allotted to them. But at the very least he, for one, would carry out the assignment Brinn had given him without making a fool of himself.

A sign saying 'Blacksmiths' Road' rekindled his hopes. Following it, they soon heard the clear 'ping-ping' of hammer on anvil, and at the second intersection, where it was crossed by Anvil Road, they found a workshop with a sign of crossed swords over its door sitting right on the corner.

Inside, the smith was hammering away at a glowing blade while his apprentice was taking care of the furnace in the background. Two grizzled men were sitting on a bench near the anvil, and now or then one or the other commented on the work in progress; both had the hardened look of veteran soldiers, but neither bothered to look around at the goods displayed, which made Coldan think they had to be friends of the smith's. The only regular customer was a tall, dark-haired man in a strange livery, similar to that which the Guards of the Citadel wore, but all in white; he was examining some knives and daggers to one side of the room.

"Good morning, Master Armourer!" Coldan greeted the smith. "How's business?"

The smith briefly looked up, nodded to him and continued with his work. "Can't complain; my customers know I make excellent blades and are willing to pay the appropriate price. What more can a man ask?"

"I'm sure of zat! But still, zere can't be zat much demand for your goods in zese days of peace. Must hev been different during ze Var."

"You can say that aloud!" The smith plunged the finished blade in a barrel to quench it, and a cloud of steam welled up. "I was apprenticed to Master Findring then, and him me and the other lads worked day and night to keep the guards and soldiers supplied. Still, as I said, I can't complain; the One Enemy's gone, and the King pardoned the Easterlings and Southrons as fought for him, but not all of them are content with his rule, and he and his knights are busy enough keeping them at peace."

"Like you'd need to tell him that", one of the veterans said with a glowering look in Coldan's direction. "The guards are getting lax in their duty, if they let former Orc-friends into the city nowadays."

Coldan's eyes narrowed. "Vat do you mean by zis?"

"You know full well what I mean", the man growled back at him. "Last time I saw a face like yours around these parts was in the War, at the other end of my halberd. Aren't the plains of Rhn wide enough for you, that you must molest people in the King's own city?"

That did it. In his head, Coldan knew he should better keep quiet, but he just couldn't contain himself, and all the frustration pent up inside him erupted and burst out at this gross insult.

"Nobody calls me zat!" he yelled, shaking with rage. "No Orc-friend Easterling I am, but a free man of Dorvinion! A thousand years and more ve vithstood the Shadow all alone, while Mother Gondor had forgotten and forsaken us! If one of my foremothers long ago was raped by a Vainrider and bequeathed his features to me, who is to blame? Must I zerefore stand here and be insulted by a brutish oaf who quaffs our vine but spurns the folk as make it?"

Last edited by Pitchwife; 03-22-2011 at 02:12 AM.
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