The moonless sky seemed closer tonight, and Eruviel entertained the thought of reaching out and taking hold of the heavens that shone down upon her perch. Having enjoyed a much needed rest after having returned from Dale, the summer night called to her, and Eruviel gladly answered. She had missed her late night jaunts, though the evenings at home seemed strange after spending months on the road with Eirikr. I need to call on him, she thought grimly, praying that he had found some sort of rest. The night after their return from Dale Arathier had found her. She would have rather gone and found Cwendlwyn or Nillariel, but he would not leave her be till she allowed him to see to her injuries. However rudimentary it was, his care had helped, and strangely, so had his company.
The summer air greeted her as an old friend, combing through her dark, loose hair as she padded barefoot atop the cool, narrow stones of a long forgotten wall. The weight of the past months had begun to lift from her shoulders in spite of the visions that still interrupted her sleep. Tossing the last pebble that she had gathered from the lake up to catch it, her mind wandered from Anyatka and Anric, to Forthogar, then to Threz. She still needed to find the latter. His letter sat folded in her pocket and she worried if the turmoil that had stirred up the populace had forced him into hiding. Keep your coin purse close, she thought with a chuckle as she cast the small stone over into the shadows in the valley on her right.
“Ow!” sounded a voice from below.
Startled, Eruviel peered over the side as she leaned over to better see the form of a man. “Oh! Forgive me! I did not see you there.” Where in Arda did he come from?
Emerging from under the canopy of the trees Arathier stood, the glare on his face replaced with by a bright smile. “What are the odds, Eruviel!” he laughed as he rubbed a hand on the side of his head.
“Fair evening to you, Arathier!” said Eruviel as she leaned over the edge of the wall, her toes curling in the empty space. “Are you out hunting or woodcutting?”
“Woodcutting!” the man replied with a smile. “Come down!”
“Be right there,” she called over her shoulder as she hurried down the final length of the wall. What is he doing here? she wondered as she jumped onto a stone platform. Jogging across it to where the grassy embankment replaced the wall, Eruviel slid down the fifteen feet to the valley belonging to the town of Archet. Walking over to meet him she noted that he was dressed in all black.
“Hello m — er– Eruviel,” stuttered Arathier, his face going blank.
Making sure to appear as if she had not noticed, Eruviel clasped her hands behind her as she smiled up at him. “Hello, my friend! How are you faring tonight?”
“Good,” Arathier replied. “I just have a call to make in Archet.”
“Buisness or pleasure?” she asked, doing her best to keep her voice even. Her eyes darted around in search for the piles of cut lumber she already knew would not be there.
Hesitating, Arathier reluctantly pulled his mask from a back pocket. “Buisness.”
“I thought that was done with,” she said quietly, her hands dropping to hang loosely at her sides.
“This is the last one,” said Arathier, his eyes falling to look at the ground.
Eruviel took a small step back, glancing over her shoulder to the valley beyond. “You know I wish you’d handle this differently,” she said, her accent surfacing from frustration. “But I will not try to stop you this time.”
Arathier looked at her and nodded slowly “I am sorry. It has to be this way.”
“No, it doesn’t,” she said firmly as she turned back to face him.
He remained silent for a long time, diverting his eyes from her to look towards the lights of Archet glowing in the distance. Letting out a heavy sigh he stepped away, lifting his mask to his face. “Wait here. I’ll be back shortly.”
Standing on the top of the small rise Eruviel gazed into the West, her arms crossed over her chest. I should not wait, she thought. She could not be party to murder, no matter how justified it might seem. The bitter fool, she mused, searching the shimmering heavens over Bree-land. He did say this was the last one, she thought, as if trying to convince herself. Oh how she wanted to believe him.
“Eru!” Arathier called out from behind her as she took her first step to leave. Halting, Eruviel turned to see Arathier stop several yards away and drop a hogtied body to the ground. “Maybe it doesn’t,” he grumbled.
Turning around, Eruviel blessed the darkness that hid the storm of emotions crossing over her face. “You . . . Arathier?”
“He’s still alive,”he said, obviously displeased as he shoved his hands into his pockets
She did her best to hide a smile as she approached them. “Who is he?”
Arathier looked to the man, giving him a weak kick in the side. “A dirt bag. He is going to be brought to the jailhouse.”
Eruviel bobbed her head in understanding. “I am sure a watcher in Comb or Staddle will take him.”
“I did it because of you.”
Eruviel’s eyes narrowed as she studied him. “Possibly . . . or you did it because of you.”
Arathier shook his head. “I was about to kill him. I-I thought of you and what you said, and I thought . . . well, nevermind what I thought.”
Eruviel let a small smile show. “You can tell me what you thought — or think after we deliver him to the authorities.”
Arathier shook his head again. “I can’t. They know my mask. And I cant risk them seeing you with me.”
Then remove it, she thought, wishing the words had tumbled from her mouth instead of what followed. “I will take him into Comb while you wait outside of town.” Chuckling, she added, “You’ll owe me a drink, though.”
“Deal,” said Arathier as a smile flashed across his face. “I’ll meet you in the Combe and Wattle Inn.”
How badly did he beat you for you to look so defeated? she wondered as the brigand reluctantly stood, his shoulders hunched over. Eruviel shook her head at him as she cut the rope from around the criminal’s feet, using the long end as a leash as she casually motioned for the man to walk. “Then you owe me two drinks; the second some other time in town. . . without the mask,” she said with a grin as she walked away, swinging her end of the rope ever so slightly.(All dialogue taken from in-game RP and edited for tense and exposition.)