A Heroes Welcome
Moonday 6 Hithui(Foggy) – (First Winter) T.A. 2758
The darkness lifts in the East as Dagorhir and Cúthalion ride up the long stone causeway and enter the fortress of Súthburg once more. Behind them, newly freed women and children walk and ride among dozens of cattle, sheep and goats. Behind them ride two score heavy knights of Rohan riding in a proud formation three abreast as they ride up the stones in the crisp morning. The large gate stand open with guardsmen standing tall with spears in hand. When the two heroes reach the flat bridge spanning the deep crevasse the guards post their spears to the side and give a deep nodding bow before snapping back upright as they enter the fortress. Inside the main gate of the fortress, the walls are lined with peasants and lords of Rohan alike, all waiting for a glimpse of the heroes of the raid or hoping to see a missing family member or friend. In the main causeway Dagorhir and Cúthalion are greeted by Háma. Behind him, Aramis and Gilfalassë stand weary from their own travels but relieved to see their friends again. The two mounted heroes almost seem surprised to see the two men standing in front of them again and slightly impressed with the skills of Gilfalassë.
As they pause and greet the three men waiting for them, the procession behind them continues entering and moving past them. Some of the freed folk jump off of their cows or goats and run to embrace family members. A few of the freed riders turn to the right and ride down the ramp to the stables but most stop just past the main gate and are helped off their horses. Stable hands, some roused much too early for their normal work, come forward to herd the livestock into the corral out in the Coombe. A large man approaches among the other stable hands as he moves to lead the horses down to the stables, a large chestnut destrier reared in front of the man, kicking in the air twice. The man huddles over, protecting his head before the horse trots past him towards Háma. The son of the king embraces the horse as he lowers his head over the man’s shoulder.
The large man rises once more and grabs the nearest horse and pulls him down the ramp to the right towards the stables while other smaller stable hands follow suit.
After a long embrace, Háma speaks to all four heroes.
Thank you all for bringing my friend back to me. I was worried and grieved for fear of the worst. I know my father will say the same when you speak to him, but if there is anything that you need while you are here, simply say the word. Rest now and we will speak again soon. If you need more than rest, go to the chapel and the old halls of healing and you will be rell received. Although might be you are more skilled than any brother there may ever be if the rumors are true
He glances at the elf.
Again, I cannot thank you enough for returning my long time friend. For now I have matters to tend to and must excuse myself
He bows low before the four heroes and without a lead and only a glance, walks next to his horse, striding down to the stables like old friends catching up on lost time.
The crowd and fanfare dissipates as the wounded and tired are helped up to the houses of healing and the knights and stable hands continue to drive the livestock out to the corral. The handful of stolen horses are gently taken down to the stables to get their own tender care under the watchful eye of the stable master. When the last of the riders passes through the gate and up the ramp, the guards step inside and close and bar the heavy wooden doors. The four heroes of the day soon find themselves all alone in the courtyard at the front of the fortress.
Gilfalassë suggests that they check on the camp sites, and find a communal location to stay while they determine our next move. Perhaps some sort of building or close to the gate so they can stay on top of any rising developments.
In the mean time I have business with the stablemaster. If you have need of me, I will leave my plans with Wigstan.
With that he heads off down the ramp to follow Háma towards the stables.