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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 15th, 2017, 8:49 pm 
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Athilda became overwhelmed with embarrassment and glanced down at the stone wall behind his feet. She reached up her hand and tucked a piece of her dark hair behind her ear, then blinked and glanced up at him as she felt his hand run through her hair.
Her brows slowly knit together as all of the worries that she held since the night before came out all at once in the form of tears.
"Dunhama....I...I am afraid that I will loose you to war before I become your wife! What if something happens on the journey back to Edoras? And what if you are slain in battle because the king and his commander were not able to properly train you?"
The flow of her tears began to slow down and as she lifted a hand to wipe her tears away, she continued softly.
"How can you willingly obey the orders of a man who forced boys and the elderly to fight?"


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 15th, 2017, 10:32 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Dunhama was stunned by Athilda's words as he looked around warily. Other than Kan, he hoped nobody else heard her words. But they being in the starwell didn't help hush what was said. He drew her to his arms and held her, saying,

"We fight for Rohan! We fight to remain free! I fight to keep you safe... safe from men who would freely have their way with you should they prove victorious."

He could feel Athilda shudder as she recalled the attack, and he regretted saying that even as their echo in the stairwell faded. He whispered solemnly,

"I am sorry Athilda, I should not have said that. The King only wants what is best for his people."

He looked into her glossy wet eyes and set his forehead to hers as he cupped her head in her hands.

"We will make it to Edoras, together, as one. There we will marry. And should war again reach us from the east, I will go and fight. Until then, I will train hard and learn as much as I can. And should I be called to go to war, I'll return from that war, I will then return this lock to you. I Love you Athilda, and nothing or nobody will ever take away my feelings for you. You have smitten me deep, and you and no other will ever be my heart's desire. My love for you will see me through, and to you I will return."

He wiped her tears away, then kissed her gently.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 8:41 pm 
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Although she felt safe in Dunhamas' embrace, the thoughts she spoke of continued to create a whirlwind of doubt in her heart. The safety she felt in his arms seemed-to her-to vanish as he mentioned the attack on her just the night before. Her stomach dropped and she shivered as unwanted memories bombarded her mind's eye.
Though she heard the regret clearly in his voice as he whispered into her ear, she couldn't stop the visions from playing in her mind. New tears began to flow down her cheeks, and she brought one hand up and wrapped it around his wrist.
She shut her eyes tightly as sorrow, frustration and bitterness began to set in, even as Dunhama spoke of the near future for them. Athildas' eyes fluttered open as he wiped her tears away, but then she closed them again as he leaned to her and kissed her gently.
"Dunhama." She pulled away from him and shook her head.
"I...I love you....with all my heart, and I know that you say you fight for me...but....it wasn't you who fought for me when I was being attacked..."
She couldn't bring her gaze to his eyes-for she was fearful that his gaze would turn to an angry scowl-but instead, she looked down at the stairs just below his feet.
"I'm sorry, Dunhama."
Her voice was but a whisper; and after she spoke, she inhaled and took her skirts in her hands and ran back down the stairs with tears streaming down her now reddened face.
As she came down to the hall, she glanced both ways, then ran down the left hall towards where she had seen Dunhama come from.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 9:17 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Erkenbrand sorted out his reports and saw that Wulgov was sitting there quietly. He was in obvious pain and his leg looked like it needed tending.

”Come Wulgov, let us get you some proper attention.”

“I will be all right.”


Wulgov replied. Erkenbrand walked over to him and said as he looked at his leg.

”No, you aren’t. I’ve been soldiering a long time here in the west, usually fighting your people. I have seen wounds, and that would, is clearly infected. It stinks. You do not wish to lose your leg do you, or even more, die?”

“What do I have to live for.”


He said, knowing he could never go home after this. Erkenbrand waved him off and helped him up.

”C’mon. I still need you for at least another week.”

They came out of the office and as soon as they got into the hall, A woman running nearly ran into them. She paused and Erkenbrand said to her,

”You are Lady Eowyn’s maid who was in the infirmary treating the wounded. I need you to see to this man. His leg is in a bad way. I’ll clear it with the lady.”

Wulgov stood there leaning against the door frame so he could take the weight off of it. His expression was somewhere between a grin from seeing Athilda again to a grimace from the pain he was in.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 9:42 pm 
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As Athilda ran down the hall, she glanced up and stopped in her tracks as she saw the Commander and the Dunlanding she had tended to begin to walk out of an office.
As the Commander ordered her to take care of the man standing in the doorway, Athilda dipped her head and wiped her tears from her cheeks as she suddenly recalled her burning cheeks.
"Aye, milord. I will tend to him."
She glanced up at the Commander, who then helped Wulgov back into his office. After the Dunlanding sat down, Erkenbrand then nodded and swiftly made his way to find the Lady Eowyn.
Athilda stood at the doorway as she waited for the Commander to return, for although she felt she could trust him, she didn't want to risk anything. But as she looked upon the Dunlanding, her heart softened, for he was wounded and there was a sort of helplessness and loneliness in his eyes....but perhaps she was mistaken. As she looked at him, she suddenly remembered that she had not properly thanked him for saving her.
"You know....I....I never got the chance to give you my gratitude after you....rescued me...from the hands of your...." Her voice trailed off as the memory of the man pulling out his knife and tearing her dress bombarded her. She closed her eyes and crossed her arms over stomach as she tried to push the haunting memories away, but they would not leave her. After a moment though, she inhaled slowly and opened her eyes, then she fidgeted with her hands before meeting his gaze.
"Thank you."


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 9:42 pm 
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Kano nodded and greeted the two as they went on their way. He had heard rumors of all the young men being drafted into the military. It seemed Dunham had been as well. This left a question in his mind as to why he had not been called upon. However, considering his condition, he figured it would figure.

Instead of accepting such a decision, however, he headed to the commander of the army to discuss the matter with him.

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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 10:17 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Wulgov Nodded and looked down at her feet. He said,

”Those men, and ones like them that were here, will not bother you or anyone again.”

Wulgov looked over at the young Rohirrim guard who swallowed after he said that. Wulgov then said,

”I am sorry for my words on the courtyard. I have not properly thanks you for treating me then.”

Wulgov grimaced in pain and he hit his thigh with his fist, as if it would make the pain go away.

~ ~ ~

Erkenbrand had made his way to Lady Eowyn who was in the kitchen. He bowed and asked,

”M’lady, I have a need for the services of the maid Athilda. She has been indispensable in healing our boys, and I have a man who is in dire need. May I request her services for the day?”

“You may. Tell her I release her to your service until she is no longer required, or to the end of this day. I will need her with me tomorrow.”


Lady eowyn said. The commander nodded and bowed before turning and leaving. When he returned to the hall, a young man on a horse approached him.

”Sir?”

Kan said. Erkenbrand looked at him and said,

”You’re the young lad Dunhama told me about. I will take your battle report. Ride beside me and tell!”

Erkenbrand slowed his walk until Kan led his horse beside him.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 10:49 pm 
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Athilda let fall all the feelings of sorrow and fear as she watched him cringe in pain before slamming his fist into his thigh. Her eyes widened with concern and she swiftly crossed the room then knelt down on her knees next to him.
"Sir, that will do nothing but further the damage to your leg!" She placed a gentle hand on his fist.
"Please, let me help you." A small smile graced her face as she looked reassuringly into his eyes.
After he nodded, Athilda retracted her hand from his fist and gently placed them just outside his leg wound. It was bad. The pungent odor hit her nose like she had been hit by someone. Or thrown against-
Athilda closed her eyes and shook her head in an attempt to banish the painful memory of her attack. Once she opened her eyes, she glanced up at him then smiled.
"Your wound, although it is infected, will not need to be amputated." She then glanced around the room for the supplies she would need. Upon spotting the items, she stood then retrieved them, then set them down carefully before him and pulled out a small bottle of healing herbs she kept about her waist.
"Here. You may want to drink some of this."
She then handed him a strong drink, and once he downed it, she washed his wound with water from a canteen, then after she dried it, she glanced up at the Dunlanding.
"I...this will sting a little. But it will rid the infection from your leg."
After a moment, Athilda placed one hand below his knee and the other poured the strong alcohol over his wound. She winced as she heard him cringe, but after that, she worked quickly to cut away any dead parts of skin and muscle. After only a few long minutes, she was able to resew his wound together and cover it up with a bandage.
"There you are...." She spoke softly as she wiped the blood off her hands.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 17th, 2017, 1:02 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Wulgov at first closed his eyes as she removed the bandage. He knew he needed to take better care of it, but being a prisoner who is seen by his own people as a collaborator, chances to rest t did not come. He had a small flat of wood he had picked up and he slipped it into his mouth to bite down on. He knew what Athilda was about to do was going to be painful. As she worked, he sat and fixed his eyes on her head. The last time he was this close to her, they were covered in mud, or in dried mud on the courtyard. He focused on her hair, counting them and tracing them from where they come from head to how they cascaded down her back and shoulders. Wulgov sat silent, unmoving, though in his mind he wanted to feel her hair, and talk to her, but he did not. He listened to her every word her voice filling his ears and he freely drank the concoctions she gave, and the second one warmed him inside. Her velvet hand holding his knee helped ease the sting, and he again concentrated on her waves of hair. Already he felt better. The air had cleared of the odor of his wound and as Athilda finished with her stitching, She cleaned her hands with some of the alcohol and leftover bandage. Wulgov removed the piece of wood from his mouth as Athilda looked up at him, and as their eyes met, He said,

”I thank you much again for your caring hands. I will try and take better care of it this time.”

Wulgov was hoping he might get some rest. He couldn’t remember when the last time it was he had been clean. Being in the presence of Athilda always made him feel … He sighed. Swallowing, he reluctantly asked, unsure if he should bring up the issue,

”Have you seen young master Dunhama of late? I saw him today. He was looking like a proud soldier of Rohan. I know he will want to talk to me sometime.”

Seeing her fair face fade into a slight grimness at his words had Wulgov thinking he once again overstepped his bounds with her…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dunhama came out to the training grounds and there he was lined up with other young recruits. They went over sword movement and Dunhama remembered the few movements the father had quickly shown him on the wall. He stepped through the moves but his mind was thinking of Athilda. The training officer yelled out,

”You, boy, do it again!”

He was coming toward him, and yes, he was speaking to him. Dunhama stood tall and looked him in the eye.

He stared hard at Dunhama and said,

”You thinking about your girl back home will get you killed boy.”

How did he know? He had seen it too many times. He ran Dunhama through the paces repeatedly as his 2nd got the others to move.

Dunhama became quite sweaty and sore as the day went, but there were no breaks. He never wanted to be a soldier.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 17th, 2017, 4:09 pm 
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Athilda smiled kindly at Wulgov, then nodded her head before speaking.
"You won't need to shoulder that responsibility on your own, sir. If the Lady Eowyn allows me to, I will be here every three hours to check up on your leg and see to it that you are getting an adequate amount of sleep."
As she looked into this mans eyes, she thought she saw something within them....fondness? She blinked, then lowered her gaze for a moment in thought. Surely this man wasn't...her thoughts were interrupted by the deep timbre of his voice inquiring about Dunhama.
"I...." she started to speak, but as she thought of him, her heart broke at what she said to him....how she left him in the stairwell.
The Dunlanding quietly prompted her again for she had drifted off.
Athilda blinked then wiped a tear away from her face and nodded to him.
"Aye, I....I am proud of him for this new honor the Commander has bestowed on him." Her voice held just a hint of bitterness and a heap of grief. "But...I am afraid of what may happen to him." She sighed softly, but after a moment, she shook her head and continued.
"Forgive me, I...I do not mean to bore you with my woes, sir. To answer your question, yes, I have seen him. I believe he was going to his training...or...something of that nature."
She paused for a moment as she looked up into his eyes with curiosity in hers.
"May I ask why he would need to speak with you?"


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 17th, 2017, 7:47 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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”I am his father’s brother.”

Is all Wulgov said to her question as he looked at the bandage on his wound. He then looked solemnly at her face and said,

”And you miss, you… your words do not bore me. I find myself curious about you. And it seems my woes have led to me being in your care now for a time. Maybe I will heal with rest and your caring hands and words Lady… Athilda?”
Wulgov remembered the courtyard and Dunhama saying her name. He had remembered her name and often repeated it in his head while out working with the commander. It was a beautiful name. He liked how it sounded, and had longed to say it. He hoped he pronounced it correctly for the woman who bore that name. But Athilda was thinking about what he had said before as she looked into his eyes. Yes, there was a subtle similarity.

~ ~ ~
Dunhama got to the point where he was making the moves with his eyes closed. When the training officer finally called a halt for a rest, Dunhama stood ready to go again. He finally sheathed his sword and went to drink some water.

”Aren’t you him?”

A young soldier around his age said as he too helped himself to water. Dunhama looked at him and asked,

”Him Who?”

“He who stood and held the line alone against the Orcs and Dunlandings! You are him! You have his axe! Hey guys! This is the guy who stood in the breach!”


The soldier said. Others started to murmur and come and pat Dunhama’s shoulder and back. Dunhama felt embarrassed. He said,

”I only stood up after being blown off the wall. I did fight a couple three Dunlandings before I fell. I did little more. Others deserve…”

“Nonsense! You are a legend! And, we get to serve with you!”


No matter how much Dunhama tried to play down his part to something close to what it was, the guys were talking and saying things that was well beyond what happened. When the horn sounded that the break was over, they lined up again, some trying to stand closer to Dunhama. The training officer walked down the line inspecting them and making corrections. When he got to Dunhama he stopped and said,

”Weapons check soldier!”

Dunhama drew his sword and held it pointing straight up. The officer looked at it.

He then pointed to his axe.

”What is this?”

“An… an axe, sir.”


Dunhama said. A couple of the others down the line chuckled slightly until the officer looked hard, noting those who had grins. He looked back at Dunhama and said,

”Yes, I see that. Why are you wearing it? You like fighting like a Dunlanding?”

Dunhama swallowed but said nothing. Only hours in to his military service and his heritage has come up. He then said without much further thought,

”I fight with whatever I have at the time, sir.”

Again, a few chuckles. The officer let out a breath and stepped to Dunhama’s face. He said,

”Fancy yourself a hero do you?

“No sir.”


Dunhama replied. The officer took him aside and said in a low voice.

”Today, you are mine.”

He turned to the others and said,

”You all, drill with my second.”

Dunhama was not going to get a break for the rest of the day. But he could hear Athilda’s words of worry about his skill. He would do this… for her. He would train and become as skilled as he can. He would return to her should war come. He set forth with the officer in hard determination to learn.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 17th, 2017, 8:40 pm 
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Athilda froze as the words fell from the Dunlanding's mouth and landed in her ears. She wished that she could say something, but all she could do was sit and listen to him, all the while staring into his eyes in shock.
She felt the barrier of ice shatter as the man before her uttered her name. She blinked quickly, and although she wanted to stand and run away, a curiosity caused her to question him.
"How.....how do you know my name, sir? I do not recall having given it to you."


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 17th, 2017, 9:52 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Wulgov could see the apprehension her eyes. He said,

"The courtyard. You were treating my leg when Dunhama came up and said your name. You seemed to be glad to see him then>"

Wulgov had let the words out before he wished he hadn't. He tended to say things directly. He needed to try and remember to be less cutting. He hoped she would not leave because of what he said.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 17th, 2017, 10:04 pm 
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Athilda took in a breath and glanced down at her hands as she attempted to hide the shame that rose to her cheeks.
"I.....my love for him is unchanging, but....if I seem unhappy, it is only because of the harsh words I spoke to him in the staircase."
As she spoke, her thoughts drifted to Dunhama. She hoped that he would not be cross with her for what she said to him.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 17th, 2017, 10:19 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Wulgov took a deep breath and could see she was upset. He said,

"I think from what I have seen these last couple days of Your friend and my nephew Dunhama, and of what I remember of his young childhood, he is a good man with a good heart. He got that from his mother. His father gave him nothing other than some darker Dunlanding features."

Wulgov watched Aathilda as she struggled with the internal burden. He then said,

"Words spoken in haste sometimes have sharp edges, but you two are young, so the cuts can usually heal. You are learning from and about each other my lady.... Athilda. Is it all right for me to address you with your name?"

He didn't know if it was proper to address the lady by her name since she did not give him her name in introduction. He wanted to be more civilized, and so these things mattered to him. Also, Wulgov thought it strange that he was giving sage advice to this lass at the age 32. He was 12, maybe 13, barely a young teen when his brother perished, and that was what... sixteen... eighteen years ago? Wulgov shook his head to clear the memories of his life then. He finally said,

"Dunhama .... I can see he loves you. He will do what he can to make this world safe for you. I am sure you are foremost on his mind right now."

He sighed as he watched her. How he wished he could meet such a woman. His brother took by force a nice woman of Rohan such as Athilda. He enslaved her and abused her and... Dunhama came to be. That woman had a name... he couldn't remember it. His brother never used it. He just called her 'wench'. He looked with pity on Athilda. Had they won the day in this battle, the chances were that she would have been taken away to a similar fate. Wulgov very much wanted to talk to Dunhama. It would not be easy, but if he could learn the name of his mother, it would fill a hole he had in his memories.

"I would like to talk to him... Dunhama, if he is willing. I would also request your presence if and when I do."

Wulgov said as he closed his eyes. His leg was beginning to throb. He asked without opening his eyes,

"You don't have any more of that strong liquor do you? It was much more pleasant than the Uruk draught and seemed to work better too."

Wulgov blinked and he looked again at Athilda's face.


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 Post subject: Re: Over hill, over dale....The Journey of the Three
PostPosted: March 18th, 2017, 3:37 am 
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Athilda listened with trepidation as this man before her spoke of Dunhamas' childhood; but as he mentioned shallow wounds made by words, a hope began to rekindle in her heavy heart. She sighed and closed her eyes as Dunhama's uncle validated the words of his nephew. As she opened her eyes again, they were glossy with tears that threatened to spill down her cheeks.
Both of these men were right.
Dunhama took this position, not because he wanted to be away from her, but to better her life, and the life of their children that were to be. She should not have spoken such harsh words to her fiancee.
Athildas' thoughts were interrupted as she saw Wulgov cringe, and she quickly picked up another draught of the alcohol, uncorked the bottle, and handed it to him.
As he drank it, she answered his questions.
"I would be happy to accompany Dunhama at your meeting with him, but first you must rest, sir."
She then gathered her things in her arms, with the soiled items in a small bucket, then stood and left. But as she reached the doorway, she turned around and dipped her head.
"And yes, you may call me that." She smiled sweetly, then rested a hand on the doorframe. "I will return to change your bandages and give you more liquor, should you need it. Rest well."


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