Daramlhoardd’s War

Daramlhoardd stretched his hands out over the small flame and rubbed them together. The belch that escaped parted lips caused the night birds to pause in their singing. He leaned back in his chair and let his thoughts drift towards the new day. Then a thought of Galowyn flickered through his mind. “It’s time I ended this day on a note of joyous rapture. I hope they have bathed that wench and perfumed her well. There is nothing like an unwashed, un-perfumed woman to spoil romantic moments.”
The elf lord stood, stretched and yawned, “Alderod,” he bellowed. No answer was carried to him upon the night wind. “Alderod,” still no answer came to him, “Cradwith, Barowen.”
Cradwith and Barowen, half awake by a roaring blaze stumbled to their feet and rushed to where their lord and master sat. “Yes sire.”
Where is that lazy lout Alderod?”
The two bowed low, “The last we saw of him is when he sent us away from that elf bitch to get your love bower ready.”
“Go fetch him and the wench to my tent. Make hast or you will feel the ten stranded whip on your backs. Where did you put my resting place?”
Two stocky elves bowed low, “By the water lord. We thought that the singing of the flador frogs might inspire you to greater heights of passion.”
“Ah the pair must be already inside,” Daramlhoardd mumbled to his beard as he approached his trysting place. The glow of several lamps shone through the white silk walls.
He stopped mid-stride, his ample jaw dropped and his one green eye became as big as a saucer. Face up upon the tent floor, with a sword sticking out of his plump belly was Alderod. There was no sign of Galowyn. Overcome by a fit of rage Daramlhoardd yanked the sword from the body. Light flashed from the blade as it descended. The head sailed across the opening and slammed up against the wall. The elf lord leaned down and wiped the gore off of his right boot.
“Cradwith, Barowen,” his roar frightened the sleeping horses. They stomped, whinnied and tugged at their reigns. “Cradwith, Barowen.”
A breathless pair of running elves came to an abrupt halt and gazed with horror filled eyes at the headless lump of dead flesh. A faint, “Yes sire,” and “You called sire,” escaped white, trembling lips.
“Wake all the sleeping dogs and then have them search for that bitch.”
A frantic search proved to be nothing more than an exercise in futility. There was not even a left over shadow of Galowyn.
Baraldar inched his way long the sandy beach on his hands and knees. In the grey light of dawn he saw several sets of footprints near the river’s edge. One set was too small to be that of a warrior. He stood up and brushed grains of white sand off the knees and legs of his brown, elk skin trousers. The clinking of golden coins echoed in his mind as he counted the reward he knew was due to him for his diligence.
“Over here,” his deep voice rang clear and true in the still morning air. “I’ve found something.”
Daramlhoardd knelt down on the wet sand and peered for several minutes at the offending prints. The rage within him grew mightily. His usual pale face turned summer rose red. Foam poured out of his mouth, streamed down his chin and soaked into his beard.
It took him several minutes to regain his composure enough so he could speak. “Cut the traitors body into little pieces then throw them into the river. When that is done we will go back to the nine cities. I will gather a mighty army and lay siege to the fortress of Gladelhome.”


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