by Faramir in Dark Ages
Faramir held her gaze, "Lass, you are a true wonder. Never before has someone seen past the facade that I choose to hold before me. All right, we will have ourselves a try. I do nae know if we can really pass through, but
I will try."
With the comment, he glanced at the lad and nodded curtly, an affirmation that relaxed the clean, good-looking youth. He looked closely at the girl, "We best go now lass, the switch of the guard just occurred, and no doubt the night watchman manning the gate was in the crowd here tonight."
She quickly strode to the young man and talked quietly, urgently. Faramir gathered his lute to hand and grabbed a half-empty flagon of wine off the table. A quick glance to them, telling them with his eyes to follow, he
sauntered out of the Inn and walked toward the gate.
Once outside Faramir faded into the shadows afforded by the large sign. As the two reached them he spoke, "Nae words now, follow me at a distance, in whatever shadows you can. When we are close to the gate- wait. It will be
easy to see if I succeed," a wry grin upon his face. Turning away, he strode down the street, never glancing back at the two shadows that ghosted after him.
As the firelight of the guard's small building fell upon him, the booming voice of the heavyset night watchman reached him, "Faramir, what brings you to my lonely vigil?" A bulking figure stepped into the light.
"Ah, you old war-horse. I saw you there at the inn. Don't play the dedicated veteran with one, who knows better," laughed Faramir as he held out the flagon. "No one left at the inn to have my last touch with, I needed some company- you know I nae wish to drink the last one alone."
Faramir had gauged the reaction correctly. "OK, you useless bard, I will have a last touch with you," laughed the guard in his booming bass tone. "Only one now, I have a long night ahead of me."
"Longer and shorter than you think," muttered Faramir under his breath. He uncapped the flagon and handed it to the guard, "Here let me strum a night tune for you." Faramir's concentration was complete as he softly willed the
guard to sleep the touch of the sleep spell building as he strummed and hummed the precise tune. A moment later, glaze upon his eyes, the guard sank to the ground, keeping a stubborn hold of the flagon. Unfortunately
his slump took him full upon the keys to the gate.
Faramir, easy way gone, quickly went to the gate and motioned to the shadows, "Come on!" he hissed, "this won't last long." He stepped quietly to the gate and fitted a skeleton key. A gentle turn, with a little mental push, and the gate opened noiselessly. The couple scurried through the barely open gate, as Faramir closed and re-locked it.
"How far to where your friend will meet you?" said Faramir quietly, his gaze darting continuously, searching the shadows.
"Not far," whispered the girl triumphantly, "just over that first rise." Both she and the lad were beaming at each other in relaxed contentment.
"Well, let's get there then, sooner you are away, better for me and for both of you."
A small measure of satisfaction crept into Faramir's thoughts. "Helping mundane escape fate, how appropriate in the scheme of life," an inner smile shown in him. He led them quietly, at a brisk pace. As they topped the
small rise, his mind still chortling at that thought, he felt the pang of fear. As an Aisling, he had gained a sixth sense to danger, a trait that he obeyed with all the devoutness of religion. Before he could stop the couple, lost in their shared happiness, they strode past him toward the visible wagon.
Stopped, his senses keening at him, Faramir gestured to the couple, but they failed to see.
As they reached the wagon, the moonlight glint warned Faramir of their peril. "Run!" he yelled desperately, even as he pulled the dirk from behind his shoulders and launched himself toward the wagon.
The couple, hearing his urgency had stopped, but fate for them was already written, as the head of the centipede appeared and struck at first her and then him. Even as Faramir reached the fallen couple, he knew that his efforts were in vain. She lay still with her head lolled to the side, as if a broken doll. His throat was torn out, blood drenching him as he lay upon his fallen love.
Head coiled, fangs reflecting the mixed blood upon them; the centipede saw the dirk in hand and paused. Realizing that it still had the edge, it bound forward to strike at the bard. Faramir managed to score the 'pede with the dirk, and danced aside, but knew his fate might also be upon him.
Knocked to the ground, Faramir took a sharp wound from the fangs and felt the poison enter him, fiery pain streaming. Knowing he had little time left, he continued to roll, hoping to make the cover of the underbrush. As the 'pede reared, a shaft of ethereal flame engulfed it. Twisting in agony, it backed up, then fell to the ground, scorched in its many rings.
The poison taking deeper hold, Faramir's will allowed him to rise and he dragged himself down the road. Knowing no limits, his body allowed him to push relentlessly forward, as if to escape the scene haunting him. His mind drowning in the pain of the poison and of the lost couple, he staggered onward.
"I never knew their names," was his last conscious thought as he fell to the road.