Character: Estel and OFC
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien discovered Middle-earth… Kortirion explores beyond the Red Book’s boundaries.
It took some persuasion, but the prospect of the gratitude of wizards and the indebtedness of elven lords helped Estel sway the woman into being his guide. Not that he revealed the details of his quest for Mithrandir… he scarce knew those himself.
Initially, he had doubts, he recognised someone used to keeping secrets, but as they journeyed through the mountains, then across Lebennin’s green fields towards Pelargir, he came to appreciate her skills. She taught him the language and customs of Harad, made a clean job of the cut their men are known for, made him an harad.
She had their journey take time, each had much to learn – he, a sell-sword’s proud demeanour… originally from Rhun to account for pale skin and strange accent, now plying his trade in Harad. Her, to trust him… on this return south she must again become enslaved, at least in appearance.
She found his wood-skills bettered hers, his talents meant fresh meat for supper. Her bartering was better… though she resented that he refused to let her pick-pocket the price of an inn. One night, they lay on the grass, watching the star-field wheel above - and she realised, she liked him.