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BrittleAredhel cursed, her frozen hands fumbling with the twine wrapped around her prey's hind feet. An unidentifiable rodent dangled from the string. The creature was barely bigger than Aredhel's arrowhead and it probably was not worth risking her life in this numbing cold, but they were always desperate for meat, even if it was scrawny.If Aredhel was honest, the true reason she had gone hunting was because she had needed to. Tracking, searching, stalking, shooting, cleaning. These tasks were simple enough to keep her from thinking too hard but required enough skill so she did not think about other things. She could not afford to think right now. Her emotions would freeze her faster than the hateful winds of the Helcaraxe.Her brother's tent was now within sight. Aredhel did not waste her breathe to sigh in relief, but slipped through the small opening. She threw off her gloves and her patchwork cloak, and quickly found the fire. They had all learned, mostly through experience, that it was
A Strand of HairGimli enjoyed exploring. Gimli's father, Gloin, had raised him on tales of Thorin's expedition for the Arkenstone. Gimli wanted to follow his father's footsteps, maybe even surpassing them. His own journey was nothing like his childhood daydreams. It was wearing, terrifying, miserable, difficult, and often boring. He relished every second. That was why he accepted the elf's invitation to sail west to Valinor.Gimli would travel farther than any other dwarf before or after him. He had not realized that he would be the only dwarf on the continent. It seemed silly, but he did not consider how alone he would feel. He missed his family, but it was the small things that drowned him in nostalgia. He missed drinking a pint of ale by the firelight; he missed seeing faces with real beards, not sissy elf-beards; he missed sitting in a chair where his feet touched the ground.Gimli's friends did their best to make him feel at home, but it was not enough. Legolas was always good company, but he did
A Good ServantWhat did he expect from us? Did he still believe in a world where every deed was done for valor? He, himself led our armies. His lordship knew better than to expect chivalry from us.He called us traitors. Murderers. Cowards. Murderers? We were murderers long before now. The slur lost its potency many years ago. This was not the first time our blades stained silver hair with red blood. Nor will it be the last, even though his lordship denies it.Lord Maedhros said this time was different. They were unarmed. They were children. His lordship said it was a vile deed done from hatred. Hatred? Yes, we hate them. We hate every barbaric Sindarin whelp who threw themselves upon our swords at the request of their king.I hate their king. Dior, The Beautiful. His life, his countenance, mocked our master. Our master, Lord Celegorm, who died by the Sindar's hand.Dior alone is at fault for our wrath. He is the reason his sons are lost and his wife dead. He refused to relinquish the jewel on which