She could hear voices. Deep rough voices and throaty laughs that chilled her skin.
Weakly Tanais lifted her aching head and gazed in horror at the scene around her. She was surrounded by figures, powerful and broad shouldered they were jeering and talking in their native tongue.
As Tanais turned on her elbow to get a better view, the truth and a sheering pain tweaked at her wrist.
Dreading what she might see Tanais glanced down and was almost sick.
Along the outside of her arm a jagged ugly scar sneaked its way down her skin, lined with a crusty green paste.
As she gazed thunderstruck at it, a new realization came to Tanais. She was a prisoner.
Around her wrists were coarse lashings of rope, tightly bound.
Flicking her hazel hair out of her azure eyes, Tanais struggled silently with the rope for a few minutes but the pain was great on her arm,so she instead shifted to get a better look at her captors. She examined the one nearest her.
He was broad shouldered and filthy, a vast mountain of inky black hair covered a lot of his grimy face and chin. He was dressed in animal skins, boar by the colour and texture of it.
Tanais gasped aloud in shock for she knew who her captors were. Wild men from Dunland.
Her mother had told her stories about the rugged wild men. They captured children who strayed out of bed at night to cook in their pot.
And now at seven years old, Tanais wondered if the stories were true.
Hastily deciding her mind, Tanais slowely began to half crawl, half slither along the verdent grass, trampled where the wildmen had strode across it.
Judging by the leafy grass moors that covered the plain, Tanais guessed that they were still in Rohan. That at least was good. If she could just get out of their sight then……………
A shout rose above the others. Tanais clenched her fists knowing it was for her. Heavy footsteps thudded behind her and a large hand griped the back of her tunic and pulled her up.
The giant held her at an arms length. Tanais struggled and her arm sang with pain. The bearded man laughed at her and the crowd joined in.
“What do you want with me!”Tanais yelled above the laughter.
Her captor looked at her. “You is quiet hafling, no trouble.”
Tanais glared at him and lunged a well aimed kick forwards.
the guard stiffened but laughed.
Setting her down he took a small bottle from his skins and unscrewed the lid.Seeing what he meant to do Tanais clamped her mouth shut.
But she was not ready for the mans tactics.
Taking a clenched fist he rammed it at her stomach. Tanais groaned and the man took the oppertunity to force some of the medicine down her.
It burned her throat like fire as it went down and the effect was immediate. Tanais swooned forwards and hit the ground. Then she remembered nothing.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.