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11
Persuasion

B2MeM Challenge: B10: Aspects of Aragorn: Sellsword; Economy: Scarcity.
Format: ficlet
Genre: general
Rating: K+
Characters: Éomund, Aragorn
Summary: It is a truth universally known that a man with a sword and will to sell must be in want of honor.


~~~

Persuasion

Of Thengel’s marshals, Éomund least liked his king’s new dark-haired champion. “He’s a Dunlending look to him,” he complained to Erfrith of the Westfold. Erfrith snorted into his beer.

“Dunlending? Are you blind, man? Dúnadan – got some Stonelander somewhere back of him.”

Even worse, in a way, then. Éomund had Eastfold in his care; he had known no shortage of Gondorians, and he had seen their mercenaries: scarred men, sometimes dull, sometimes all too clever, but every one of them so ruined by war and Ithilien’s loss, they would rather die rootless in war than try to settle. Death-wished, many of them – and so dangerous.

If Ælric sensed his reservations, he said nothing, and since Thengel had seen fit to bolster Eastfold’s suffering ranks by giving the newcomer to Éomund, Éomund did not encourage strife between them. It was not fitting, between captain and Rider.

The summer passed; the raids were brutal, and Éomund watched his ranks thin. But one dark head remained in place, and he saw how men looked to him, that he cared for them.

Thus when Thengel called the marshal to summer’s court, and inquired about the stranger, Éomund had to admit: “He knows his business – does it well. He is a sellsword, my king, and I know not whence he hails, but I will say this for him: he sells his sword, but not his honor.”

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