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While the night elf rifled through the jailor’s pockets, Herrin cast the light of the lantern around the cell. There were bodies hanging from the other chains; apparently he and the Elf were the only ones who’d survived.

“Ugh,” the elf said. “I don’t think this man has ever washed.”

Herrin shrugged. “I didn’t ask you to search him,” he said. “Anything good?”

The elf held up a set of keys. “These should be somewhat helpful, don’t you think?”

Herrin grinned. “To you, maybe. What’s your name, anyway?”

The elf straightened up and then bowed, an oddly formal gesture considering the surroundings. “I am Tryls, of the Heis Nelarromeë, and I am at your service.”

Herrin grinned and held his hand out. “Herrin. Of no house in particular. What were you in here for?”

Tryls took his hand gingerly. The Nittalfar were known to dislike physical contact with others, and that he would even shake a man’s hand demonstrated the depth of the debt he believed he owed. Herrin broke contact quickly to save the elf any further discomfort, and set off down the corridor.

“I was tutoring the daughter of the Sebrimor,” Tryls said. “I do not know what displeased him about my lessons.”

Herrin nodded. “Yeah, doesn’t take much to annoy him. I, ah, I used the wrong form of address, or something.”

Tryls stopped and looked at him sharply.

“Oh, alright, I called him a shady bastard. It was true, though!”

The elf stared at him for a moment, then burst out laughing. “Oh, my friend,” he said, “If we get out of here I am going to enjoy your company.”

Herrin stopped and looked back at him. “Who says we’re going to be keeping company?”

Tryls looked serious, his dark eyes shining in the dim light. “You saved my life. I cannot part from you until the debt is paid.”

Herrin laughed. “Oh, right, well, that won’t take long!”

As if on cue, the clatter of approaching soldiers filled the corridor.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: I decided to continue with the story of Herrin and his Night Elf friend from Wednesday- perhaps I’ll make a little serial of their escape!)

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