Vilheith sorted from the healer’s tent shared with Haram and left both men to deal with whatever stood between them.
For a moment she remained a short distance away from the entrance pondering. She had wanted to groom her horse next but now she decided to go looking for those other mounts first. She might not know how the Forgoil would deal with the aftermath of such great a battle but spare horses would be one of the things she imaginged to get sorted out rather quickly. At least it was like that with the dunlendings.
She saw the young healer still making his round with others left in his care. His face was grey with exhaustion and for a moment he just stood there between the fires absentmindly staring at nothing. He wasn’t alone to look after the wounded. She had heard that the more serious wounded had been taken to the stone city. But the long battle had left a lot of others wounded to some degree and he had been working on them since this camp had been set up in the aftermath of the battle in the last night.
On her way to the picket lines she grabbed a bowl of hot soup from one of the camp fires silencing the men sitting there and all but shoved it in the startled healer’s hand before continuing her way through the somewhat orderly rows of tents to find suitable horses for Haram and Aswig.
As she trotted down the lenght of the camp she again wondered about the sheer size of it. Thinking of it as the smaller host against that of their enemies simply left her dazed.
Before the battle at Helm’s Deep she had never seen thousands of men in one place. Over the long years since the destruction of her home village and her getting captured by the dragon clan she had mostly seen a hundred fighters gathered for a raid, in a few cases other villages had added their own swelling up the number of fighters to some extend but nothing near to the number of spears she had seen assembled at Dunharrow where she had caught up with the Forgoil after leaving Urvun in the mountains over the Deep.
She hadn’t even known that so many of them existed…
She remembered the first glimpse of the army of orcs gathered at Isengard getting ready to march and the in that wake somewhat diminished assembly of dunlending fighters among them. She had thought nothing could stand against the seemingly endless black tide of that creatures…
It had left a vile taste having to side with that and a nagging feeling of looming desaster in her gut despite the display of sheer power. Which had only continued to grow till that fatal order to cowardly kill the defenceless women and children rather than face any of the warriors.
Unconciously she snarled at that memory ignoring the man who involuntarily gave her a wide berth as she stalked past him leaving him staring after her.
But the Forgoil had withstood that mad wizard’s army against all odds and shattered the vage dreams of the dunlendings to regain the rich lands east of the Isen.
Once she had thought that the end would justify the means. But now she knew better.
She might mourn for those lives lost even if there was little love left in her for the people of her birth. But she didn’t regret that the plans of the wizard had been averted. They were never meant to reap the fruits of their hardship. The wizard and those orcs would have seen to that. All he had to offer had been lies and empty promises to lure them to do his bidding.
She still didn’t regret going against her own in those wonderous caves. After meeting with Haram and the now King of the Forgoil the skirmishes had continued till the break of dawn. Those uruks didn’t fear the sun as others did and in the dark the fight had gone on without more than a few breaks to gather again and find breath. She had gotten separated from Haram and his group ending up with Urvun again. She hadn’t know that the battle was over till he led her away from the caves telling her that it wasn’t the time to go after Haram yet.
The wise man of the clan of the falcon led her to a small camp up in the mountains where a handful of surviving members of his clan had already gathered. Some of them she knew by their reputation, others she hadn’t seen or heard of before. She knew of Lheu Brenin’s twist and the internal strive in the clan of the falcon from Ungrath’s boasting how he had lured his former clanmates into cooperation. Learning of the clanleader’s end at the hands of Hararth did fill her with a sound satisfaction that did astonish her since most feelings for the clan of her birth had been disgust since they failed to save or at least free her and her familiy long years past.
(Gespräch mit Urvun… noch ausführen, vor/nach nächstem Absatz)
From what she had seen and heard from Urvun before their parting the other surviving dunlendings had been captured and put to work at the Deep but left alive. One more of those mindboggling lies of the wizard gone with the morning light. She had heard him telling the dunlendings over and over again to fear the Forgoil for they would burn their captives alive.
Having watched Haram and Aswig over the years and others on her own raids into their land she had known it for a lie but even then it had been hard to hold to her knowledge while listening to the wizard.
(weiterer Weg Vilheith….)
And as Urvun had stated that had been the smaller threat.
As hard it had been to think of that wizard and all his power and followers to have been just a pawn like themselves all doubt had vanished at the break of the day that wasn’t when even the sun failed to show her face.
She had reached the area where the horses had been gathered that had been found without their riders or whose riders had been killed.
As she had thought she wasn’t the only one to go through the lines searching. Some of those men were looking for their own steeds that they had lost in the chaos especially when those towering four-legged creatures had joined the battle bearing dozens of riders into the fray while flaying about with their spearstrapped tusks and long noses.
Despite being a seasoned warrior herself Vilheith shuddered remembering those. They had been lucky none of them had come their way while they had worked to get Haram from under the fallen horse. It would have simply trampled them never even realizing what it had squeezed under its enormous legs.
Once or twice she had to drop her interest in a specific horse when the owner showed up. Yet there were still some fine animals left. Her experience from raiding had left her with a good eye for horseflesh. And so she focused rather quickly on two horses, one a strong fellow for Haram and a more slender one that spoke of swiftness and endurance for Aswig. Both had their tack with them, their equipment showing the telltale signs of riders most probably wounded badly of killed.
She had no idea how the Forgoil decided whom to give the spare horses so she went in bartering as she would have with other dunlendings. She would be damned to give up a claim to someone who had shown up after her…
After quite some arguing she left a rather speechless fellow go on looking for another horse and led both horses up to the part of the camp where her own horse was kept. As she had assumed both former owners had been killed so none would go after the horses for a while, perhaps never. She belatedly remembered to tell the man in charge of the horse lines the names of the riders and company where those two horses would go to and ignored the strange looks he and the other man who had tried to get one those two horses for himself shot at her.
After yesterday’s battle if they still feared one dunlending woman in the midst of their camp she couldn’t help them with that…
And after all, she had asked before she took the horses…