Character: Thorongil and Rohirrim
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien created the epic - Kortirion hatches small plots.
Rough bark scrapped against his skin, even through his shirt. The load of wood on his back were heavy, making him stagger slightly.
“Steady!” barked the Quartermaster, “Don’t drop them!”
Thorongil bit back his answer; he was hot, tired, his arms ached from splitting logs… what this had to do with training he failed to follow.
The Rohir raised a hand; they halted outside a cottage door. A careworn woman answered his knock, her face lighting up in recognition.
The Rohir suddenly sounded flustered, “Thought you might need wood - happened to be passing…”
Thorongil snorted… which the man ignored.
She thanked them, bade him set the logs by the door. The Rohir nodded to Thorongil, “get to it lad”, before entering the house to accept the offer of fresh ale.
Thorongil dumped the logs, his hair and neck sticky from the sap. By the time he’d finished stacking them his shirt clung to his ribs with sweat. The Quartermaster appeared with a mug.
“Quench yourself, lad, Bressa makes the clearest ale in these parts.”
Thorongil took the proffered drink and sank to the ground, gulping it eagerly.
“Has she no man to do this?”
The rohir shook his head.
Just then Bressa appeared with bucket and cloths in one hand and a much-washed shirt in the other.
“My thanks, master. If you’d bathe, I’ll take your shirt and wash it.”
“No, it’s the least I can do for your kindness.”
The Quartermaster harrumped, shooting Thorongil a look that meant ‘do as you’re bid’. He stripped off his dirty linen and the woman bustled inside.
“Accept kindness when it’s offered, lad, it pleases the giver as much as the receiver.”
The shirt, Thorongil found, had two leaf-shaped darns to front and back... a lance had passed right through.