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Wanderer Lost II

AraCelebEarwen

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Such a price had been paid, but now with the promise of such a return. A tear ran down Olheri's calm face; Daelin's actions both warming and worrying her as she tried to re-gather her thoughts. "My lady, I thank you deeply, but it has been so long a time since I saw any others. I refuse to give up, but it is hard to know where to turn next." Head tipped and lowered lightly, Olheri did nothing brush away the line that the tear had left. "Even my brother's trail had grown so cold that I had begun to lose hope until Giddeon said something about him." Without giving it any thought, her right hand still closed around the amulet, her left slipped down into her lap; her arm held lightly against her waist. "I will tell him what you say, mylady. Though you should know, there is a price that comes with giving your heart to someone not of your own kind." Sadness finally broke free on the woman's face but she kept her thoughts to herself. Another few heartbeats passing before she again spoke. "How long has it been since he left?"
 

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Hrothar cleared his throat of the wine he had just sipped. "I believe it is 17 months though, to the day I can not be certain." He smiled a hopeful smile at her. "However I can help you with possible places he may have gone. I know much of Middle-Earth you see. In my younger days I had the pleasure to travel this fine land. It is most likely that he traveled east into Rohan. He had come from the North, and North you must go again to go west out of the valley. And south ofcourse are mountains." His eyes grew distant and he paused for a few moments. "Yes, east I should think." All at the table looked at him and indeed he had the look of a man who was very wise. His eyes held his look of age however their gleam showed through brightly when he spoke. His long gray and white hair was at shoulder length and far better kept then the last time she had seen him.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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As she looked across the table at him, Olheri began to wonder at what he could be saying. She had known she was a long time behind Daneth, but over a year?... The chances of catching up to him were small enough, but... "Are you saying that you would..." Something in his tone and the look behind his eyes brought the question to her lips. "Could you be willing to help me find him?" Her eyes took on a glitter of hope as they stayed fixed on the man's face. He looked to know and quite possibly even love something about a traveler's path. Though age showed on his features, there was a clear strength in him that for a moment almost made her wonder what her father had been like. Unable to remember even his face though, Olheri let the thought go; turning her full attention to Hrothar.
 

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He raised a brow at her mention and smiled. "Oh, I would ofcourse be delighted to accompany you, but I am afraid my traveling days are quite over. However, there is one here that can help you find him is there not?" He saw the unsurety in her eyes. The Princess spoke next. "Hrothar, do you not have the gift of insight...or has it left you my old friend?" Hrothar turned and faced her. "No no my Princess, it has not left me fully. The sight of the Valar is still within me, however such a request requires a token that he once possessed." The Princess did not hesitate and from her lap, she produced a locke of hair tied in its center with a leather strap. "He hewn this from his own head and threw it at my feet." She would not look up and it appeared she wanted to say more but she remained silent. Hrothar reached over and picked up the dark hair. He looked it over and rubbed his chin in thought. "Hmmm...yes, yes, this may do nicely." He looked up and saw Olheri's eyes focus on the locke of hair.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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Unable to ask the questions that came to her at all that had just been said, Olheri looked to almost be confused or disbelieving as she saw the locke of her brother's hair. Sparks of red and gold danced along the dark, almost black strands as the light touched them. The tied leather band reminding her of the dark clothing and fine leathers that Daneth had always been fond of. Finally bringing her eyes up to Hrothar's, she glanced quickly at Daelin's downcast face and for a moment to Katrina before moving back to the older man. What had happened here? There was no question of what the Princess had said; but what she didn't only brought a stronger desire to know what seemed to be hidden. "If there is anything at all that could help me find him... Anything about where he could be, or how he left..." Ever her still quieted voice once again began to hold a strong undertone.
 

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The Princess's eyes faded a moment as she once again recalled that awful time. The moment in which she demanded that Denath leave Gorshven and to never return. As her ocean blue eyes came back into focus, she looked into Olheri's eyes. Her expression was one of sadness and regret.

"Fargon brought forth a body and laid it before all of us upon this very table. It was partially decomposed and appeared to be a man." Her mouth quivered as she continued. "He had been gone for many months before that. I had hoped he had left for good but it was not so. The Prince had sent him on a quest. How they knew where to look I can only imagine. The whole thing was terrifying to me. It was later when I found out that Fargon was not just a soldier, he was also a practitioner of the dark arts. He knew exactly where to find the body." She reached up and grasped a glass of wine. Loudly, she gulped a swallow of wine and her face seemed to grow pale. "He told all of us that the body was in truth, Lord Lamosa, and the man professing to be him was an imposter. I didn't believe him...I refused to believe him...at first." She paused as her eyes glossed over again and she continued. "He would of died for me, I always knew that, yet, the scars upon his back, his avoidance to questions posed...I began to wonder if Fargon had told the truth. So one night, I asked him pointedly and he confessed to his lies. He told me his name wa Denath and that he had met Lamosa in the forest. He said that he was under attack by a group of men and that he tried, but could not save him." She lowered her head and furled her brow. "I...I didn't believe him and grew angry. Angry for his ruse, angry for falling in love with him...all of it. I told him to leave immediately and to never return. I told him if he didn't that I would summon the guard. No matter how much he begged me to reconsider, no matter how he professed his love for me, I just felt betrayed...he..he broke my heart that day." Tears flowed down her pinkish cheeks and she appeared to be on the virge of weeping. "Before he left, he warned me of Fargon, and my brother, but I did not hear his words. He left right then and there...and I hated him for it." She lowered her head upon the table and sobbed. Katrina placed a soft hand upon her back and consoled her.

She looked over at Olheri and spoke calmly. "Mylady mentioned to me that he spoke of the horseman, that he had cause to visit them one day..I believe Hrothar is correct. More then that I can not say." She lowered her head onto The Princess's back and continued to console her outpouring of despair. Hrothar nodded in approval and remained silent.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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Olheri watched them for a little while before bowing her head. More had been learned in the last few minutes then she had found in all her time wandering. Where Daneth could have been before coming here, she couldn't begin to think; her mind already trying to hold onto everything else. The sound of Daelin's weeping set an ache in her heart and she knew that there was little good in trying to find out any more at this time. Bringing her head up slowly, she looked at Katrina's face, the woman's eyes closed and expression a saddened calm. "Thank you for telling me these things." She paused, looking at Hrothar a moment. "Is there anything else?..." She almost hadn't asked but for glancing again at the locke of hair still held in the man's hand.
 

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Hrothar looked over at her and smiled. His bearded chin had a warmth to it with he gazed at her from across the table. He tossed the locke of hair in her direction and it slid to a stop very near to her plate. "The Westfold is not all that far Olheri. You will be far into The lands of the Rohirrum before you will need to pause to have your child. There are several towns along the river and they are not so savage as some are thought to say of them." He paused and raised his gaze a moment in thought. His words flowed as if what he knew had been common knowledge. In truth, he thought all women talked of such things. His mention drew up the heads of The Princess and Katrina. Quickly they wiped tears and attempted to compose themselves as the sudden and shocking news settled into their ears. "Is this true?" Said Katrina questioningly. "Why did you not tell us?" The Princess asked. "I am so happy for you." Katrina avoided direct eye contact with her and she to seemed lost a moment in thought, however the Princess seemed very pleased.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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Her hand reached out and closed around the dark strands; her face a mix of confusion and disbelief as his voice came to a slow stop. How could he know? Green eyes darkened then as her expression took on an calmer, more composed appearance. Olheri looked up at Katrina, not really wanting to but almost hoping to meet her gaze; her own eyes falling back to her clasped hands at the woman's avoidance. She had expected no less, and had indeed almost feared her finding out. Princess Daelin's excitement brought a small, but almost sad smile to Olheri's closed mouth.

Dark hair was left to spill around her face as she kept it lowered. A quiet sigh being breathed as she nodded lightly. "How he knows..." She only glanced up at Hrothar for a moment before looking back at her folded hands resting in her lap. Fingers closed carefully around the locke of her brother's hair; the other hand daring to press lightly against her still unrevealing belly.
 

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Hrothar leveled his gaze upon her, still with an endearing smile upon his face. He tapped the side of his nose with two outstretched fingers. "I am a Cleric after all, there is much I can see that others can not. I could tell you if it is a boy or a girl if you like?" He waited patiently and nodded when she shook her head. "This is a blessed thing Olheri, do not be afraid. You and anyone you find may live here in peace. That is such a rare thing. You have done great deeds for someone so young. You saved us all." All three of them nodded and looked up at her down-turned face. Though she did not say it, Katrina did wonder why Giddeon had put himself in harms way. She really had no idea what had happened nor why he was there. Her instructions were very clear and they were not followed. She knew it had something to do with Olheri, but she dared not attempt to read her thoughts for she feared what she might find.

"Yes, much has been lost, but so much has been gained here....Where is Boradon? I so much wanted to speak to him. I can not begin to imagine what he went through. I know no thank you will suffice but I wanted to tell him anyway. Surely he will go with you at the very least." The Princess said lightly. Hrothar looked as if he wanted to speak just then but decided to wait for Olheri.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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Olheri's face came up, dark eyes landing on the Princess' gaze. A knot began to form in her throat and it took a moment before she could speak. "Boradon was not felling well. He asked that you forgive him for not coming, mylady." There was more to it but she hoped it would be enough. He had not felt able to come; more then his body scared by what had been done. Though she was sure he might have if she had really asked, Olheri had made no point to convince him to accompany her.

A tear started to shimmer in the corner of the young woman's eye. Olheri looked down at a half of a soft roll on her plate. "He longs to be home. I can not ask him to turn away from his people..." Her voice faded out as she thought over what was not being said on her part. He didn't know. How could she tell him? He would go back to the moutons and she would continuo to look for her people...
 

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Hrothar shook his head, and looked down a moment. He had grown very fond of Boradon. When he wasn't being tortured, the two sat in cells next to one another. Boradon spoke of his home and of his people. Hrothar tried to keep his spirits high for a time, but eventually, Boradon had stopped talking to him altogther. He had fallen into a deep despair.

Hrothar shrugged off his thoughts and lifted his glass. "Enough of this talk, this is to be a celebration!" He stood up and lited his glass high. "A toast, to Olheri, Boradon, The Lady Katrina, and Lord Giddeon, who's courage and sacrifice have brought to rights a Kingdom and its people. May you be granted much happiness and long life!" He tipped his glass twice then drank down a large gulp of wine. He smiled and chuckled as he nodded to the ladies around him. "Now, my stomach is empty and all of this food shall not go to waste if I have anything to say about it!" He said loudly. He sat back down, set down his glass and dug right in. He lifted a large leg of chicken, and began to devour it. His words seemed to lighten the spirits in the room. Katrina and the Princess both folded lap cloths onto their laps, tried theirs eyes and began to sample the large offerings upon their plates.

Boradon paced back and forth in his room. He wondered if he should just take her as his wife. He thought about how she had changed and what she changed into. He didn't understand it, and scarcely believed what he knew to be true. He wondered if she would be accepted among his people. "Surely they would accept her." He thought to himself. Maybe I won't give her a choice...I'll just take her, he decided.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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A broken smile lightened Olheri's face as she watched Hrothar; his words and actions bringing an almost amused light to the woman's eyes, even if only for a short time. Lifting her goblet, dark eyes gazed into the rich milk; thoughts wandering far from the moment before the drink was brought up to her lips. The almost emptied cup set slowly back down. The roll and a chunk of smoked fish being some of the only things to tempt her twisting belly, she halfheartedly picked at a bit of meat, her thoughts wandering to what Boradon could be doing. Except for it being made known that she was with-child, she felt that he should be there himself to hear their thanks.

Time slipped by, even the most tempting foods soon loosing their appeal. She felt tired and had always thought to be somewhat out of place in these halls. Looking up at Daelin, Olheri set her napkin back on the table. "Again, I thank you greatly for your offer my lady. I know that my people will be treated well here. And I thank you for the meal, but I seem to have no appetite for even such fine things." She tried to show an apologetic smile, her right hand lifting to hold out the locke of her brother's hair.
 

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The Princess placed her hand upon Olheri's wrist, an endearing look was in her reddened eyes. "No...you keep that Olheri, if you find him, tell him that I will be waiting for him if he can ever forgive me." She rubbed her arm and smiled. "The hour is late yes?" She said as she looked around. Her words startled Hrothar as he was leaned back in his chair with his eyes closed. A half filled glass of wine in his hands. "Do please convince him to come to the ceremony tomarrow morning." The Princess said. "It would please me greatly if I could thank the both of you properly." With that she lifted out of her chair and headed toward the door. Katrina moved in step behind her and Hrothar stood and bowed as they left. He then set his glass back down upon the table, lifted a brow to Olheri and followed them.

Boradon could no longer wait up for her. He had grown very tired and decided to turn in. He made sure all of his things were packed and that his boots were treated well with oil for the long journey home. Grogily, he removed his clothes and slipped into the large, soft bed. The sheets were cold at first however it did not stop him from falling fast asleep. He drempt of Tirnafi when he was young as the two of them trekked down the mountain.
 
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AraCelebEarwen

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A peaceful quiet settled over the hall. The cold of night spreading over the land as a lone figure walked along the stone hallways. Torchlight glowed softly from the walls, lighting each step as Olheri wandered almost aimlessly. Her hand still closed around the little loche of hair, her thoughts ran in circles and skipped from memory to memory. A young Daneth's mischievous grin dancing before her eyes before she blinked and looked up at the door that was now before her.

Carefully reclosing the door, she turned and stepped softly across the cold floor; his warm scent and slow breaths leading her to stand next to Boradon's bed. He had changed; his strong face lined with the scars that were only a hint of what he had gone through. Even she missed Tirnafi...

A moment of slight dizziness caught her, one hand reaching out to the wall as the other held against her waist. Letting it fade away, she sighed, her head lowering and eyes closing. She could hear the beat of his heart as she curled up on the edge of the bed. An extra blanket pulled over her shoulders, a weary head resting on a crooked arm; the young man's presence a comforting warmth even from a little distance. A whispered sigh escaped slowly past her lips as she drifted off to sleep.
 

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Boradon awoke very early. The bloodied vision of the wolf entered his mind and forced his eyes open. He was once again freed of the nightmare that plagued his dreams ever since Tirnafi's death. There was something he had to do though he did not know exactly what. He had to visit his people and tell the council elders what all had happened. That much he was certain of. He swallowed back a yawn and slowly, he noticed extra weight upon his feet. He gazed down and in the darkness he saw Olheri fast asleep all curled at the foot of the bed. He looked at her for some time.

He thought back to why she had left him. He knew how important it was for her to find what was left of her people. He understood that now. However, he didn't want to let her go, he loved her. He loved her ever since the first time he saw her. He thought her an angel when he looked up at her for the first time. She saved his life that day and now she had saved him again. He owed her his life twice. A thought entered into his mind that shot pain into his chest like an arrow. He knew that he had to let her go.

Slowly he sat up and leaned over to her. He lightly touched a few strands of her dark hair and set them above her ear. She stirred but did not wake. He smiled and carefully he moved out of the bed and began to get dressed. He was hungry but also he felt his stomach sour. Emotions flooded his head that he had never felt before. Without a sound he collected his pack, quiver and bow and moved out of the room. A guard that stood watch at his room stood from where he sat and nodded to him. "The Guard shall remember you Northman. Good hunting Boradon." He told him. Boradon smiled and shifted his bow into his other hand. He reached over and clasped the guards wrist and hand and shook it strongly. "Take care of the Princess Tybar, her safety falls upon you now." He replied. The guard smiled and nodded again as their hands released.

Without looking back Boradon moved out of the castle and into the early dawn air. The sun barely kept above the horizon yet and he wanted to watch it. He found a good spot to set down his pack and bow next to a tree that graced a small patch of grass near the front of the castle doors. He reached up and felt the leather that was tied around his bicep on his right arm. It was the leather that Tirnafi wore around his neck. He would wear it to the end of his days he thought. He stooped and placed his arm against the trunk fo the small tree that he stood next to and watched as the heavens awoke in a fiery light as the sun slowly rose. He looked at the castle and then looked at the fog laden mountains in the distance. His gaze lingered there until it settled once again upon the brightness of the sunrise.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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Not sure what had changed, Olheri only knew that something had. It felt cold now though. Boradon's scent still lingered here, but there was nothing else. Blinking, blurry green eyes opened to the half light of dawn. Her head felt as though it would spin as she sat up to look around for him. Almost hoping he had only stepped out for a moment, her heart sank as she realized that all of his things were also missing.

Clutching something in one hand, bare feet moved soundlessly down the long halls. He was still close, she knew he couldn't have gone far yet and desperately hoped that she wasn't wrong. Mussed from being slept in, the dark dress flowed around her as Olheri reached the entry hall and broke into a run. A hot tear slipped down her cheek. She was worried that he was already gone and mad that he had left without saying anything; mad at herself for being so tired and letting it happen. She knew she couldn't stay with him, but that didn't mean she would just let him walk away.

Sunlight blinded her from the path as she stepped out into the courtyard. A hand raised against it as she tried not to stumble. Someone could just be seen leaning against a tree a little way ahead; a pack and bow by his feet. Footsteps slowed, the tear brushed from her face and her breathing calmed before she stepped forward. "Would you try to leave so quietly? Forgeting so much?" She stood a few steps from him, her right fist held out, turned over and opened slowly. Light reflected across the trinket, the graceful feline's face looked up from the coin in her palm.
 

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Her voice caught his attention and his eyes drew away from the rising sun. Slowly, his eyes adjusted to her form and he took in her look. He smiled and saw the hurt expression on her face. "Olheri I..." Before he could finish, she leaped into his arms and kissed him deeply. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he held her waist tightly to him. Her dress did little to hide her warmth from him. "Would...you...not...say goodbye?" She said inbetween the barrage of kisses that she set upon his lips. He set her down slowly and placed his hands on her neck at the fringe of her cheekbones. He kissed her once more before he pulled her face away. "I was afraid..." "Afraid of what you stupid lummox." She scolded with tears in her eyes. "Afraid that if I asked you, that you would come with me." He embraced her tightly and she rested her head upon his shoulder. "When a Northman chooses a mate, it is forever and your will is stronger then any that I have ever known." He told her softly in her ear. "For that to be, I, and I alone must be in your heart and...and I was not...sure if..." His voice began to faulter.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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His heartbeat pounded in her ear; the sound of his voice a deep rumble and soft touch as she held tightly to him. For all the words that came to mind, it was only a few that broke past her trembling lips at first. "I should never have let it happen, but... I... I love you, Boradon." Flinching at a twist of sickness, she tried to hide it by rubbing her face into his shoulder. She couldn't tell him. For a moment she didn't care though.
 

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He pulled away and looked into her eyes. Her eyes and his met and silently searched within each other for quite some time. "Then there shall be no place that you shall go that I will not find you. When we meet again, it shall be for me to claim you for my wife unless death takes me." His words were stronger and he stood up to his full height. He nodded to her silently and with his right hand, he pulled upon her long, dark hair and took much of its length into his hand. With his left he removed his sharp, skinning knife and held it before her. As he kept her gaze with his, he reached around and began to saw off the length before his hand. Tiny pin pricks of pain were all that she felt as he worked the hair free with his knife.

Finally, the hair came free and he replaced his knife into his belt. Without taking his eyes from hers, he brought the hair around and skillfully, he tied a knot in it. "The love of a Northman is as strong and unbridled as the mountains themselves. It burns within my veins. My blood and my body are for you and for you alone. When you are ready, you must claim that which was taken and in doing so you claim the man who holds it." He placed the locke into his belt, and again, he searched her sparkling eyes. He took her within his arms and kissed her hard and long. Without another word he let her go and turned. He reached down and took up his pack and bow. He paused a moment with his back to her.
 

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