This bit ended up longer than I thought it would... but I actually really enjoyed this. Especially after last nights self rant. Opinions would be welcome.
Despite the heavy drumming of the foulspawn army through - they stayed firmly in their camp, leaving the defenders to a long and sleepless night. Some managed fits and starts of sleep and several hours after he had been brought back into camp Lahsaa found himsel jerking awake. It was still at least several hours to dawn and at some point he had fallen asleep on Arya who was now snoring besides him with a empty bottle of what had been mead in her hand.
"Finally the Hare awakes." Ragnar said as quietly as his deep voice and strong Llaminusian accent would allow. "And falling asleep on the Jarl's woman no less, a lesser man would be jealous." Lahsaa rubbed his eyes, too tired and achey to even respond. "Your Jarl doesn't even get a response now?" Ragnar pressed with a laugh, throwing a staling hunk of bread at the mage. A smile finally passed on Lahsaa's lips as he threw the bread back at the Jarl creating an explosion of crumbs as it bounced off the general's head.
"There are those balls we occasionally see!" Ragnar laughed, slapping his hands together. "Though don't let your good friend the Huntsmaster see you throwing things at me. It's almost a weapon. She'll arrest you again. Again... Again."
Lahsaa smirked, reaching for the waterskin that lay nearby and clearing the croak that sat in his throat like leafs and branches clogging a dam. "She's only arrested me twice." he coughed when he was able to speak again, his throat still tight and painful from the night before.
"You'd think bedding her a couple of times would make her less likely to want to see you in irons... Or maybe more likely." Ragnar said, laughing loudly as Lahsaa choked on the water he had been in the process of swallowing.
"We never...! I mean I didn't...! We're just friends Ragnar!" Lahsaa gasped in between coughs.
"I mock you Lahsaa... surely you should be used to it by now. But you'll have to find a woman one day. If there's one thing the Einherjar will do to you, it's make a man of you." Lahsaa chewed the inside of his lip in response, with a grumble. "Every man deserves a good woman Lahsaa, I've seen the way you've looked at more than a couple of women. You love a good many of them, but none enough to bed them when there's probably a couple of them that would be fairly glad to get you between the sheets."
The mage glanced up at the Jarl, who sat watching him with a small thoughtful smirk on his face.
"Of course that's assuming we get ot of this mess alive." Lahsaa pointed out sourly.
Ragnar tutted, glancing over at the direction of the foulspawn camp. "Don't you believe in me Lahsaa? Your Jarl? I've led you through worse shit than this ja? That Vampire Coven in Nurun? The fomor stronghold on the Eternal Ice? Thol... Fucking Tholon! I led you into the Gods damned mountain of Night to beat the shit out of 4 liches and you doubt me when it comes to a handful of orcs that are weaker than a Rolborian's piss after a night of drinking?" he sighed. "What's on your mind? I forever see you in there... maybe that's why you don't have a women, you're too busy with your blood mage thoughts."
Lahsaa smirked at the very old nickname, matching the Jarl's sigh. "I don't know Jarl. I'd follow you to the ends of Arda and have done a couple of times - but this, this just seems a bit different. Something ominous is lurking just out of site, just where we can't see it. And I think it's going to be the death of one of us." he met the Jarl's eyes, who was staring impassively back.
"Sometimes you talk as much shit as Fith does Lahsaa. They're foulspawn. We've killed plenty of foulspawn, as well as demons, undead, otherworldly creatures, Kryganite beasts, heralds and champions of each of the dark six and all kinds of shit in between. This is childs play Lahsaa. Every man and woman that I lead is worth fifty of that green skinned filth. The only good foulspawn I ever knew took down nearly one hundred and fifty of them on his own after he had died. They are nothing, Lichesplitter - "he hefted his axe, battle worn and scarred but still as sharp as ever " - will have several new names after this fight is done. Everyone here will be a fucking hero and the souls of the foulspawn will be sent to Kharach and their bodies will feed new life on this site of battle.
"Don't bring out weakness now Lahsaa, I need you strong, I need you fighting. Because we are Einherjar ja? We're strong and we fight! Ja?!"
"No, not fucking yeah, Shout it damnit! Show me you fucking mean it. We're strong and we fight, ja!"
"Ya!" Lahsaa choked out as loud as he could.
"Ja... and when this battle is over Lahsaa, you'll be saying 'Oh Ragnar, I was so wrong to be a big fucking wussy... now I'm off to go and find me a woman!'"
Lahsaa coughed out a laugh before finishing the skin full of water. "Thank you Jarl." he smiled, standing and taking the larger mans hand.
"Go get yourself ready for the fight of your life. Dawn's not far off. I'll start to wake up this lot. I need Arya's hangover to wear off before the foulspawn attack."
Lahsaa nodded and started to wander off as Ragnar sat watching after him weaving through the sleeping bodies. With the crack of wings a raven suddenly landed on the Jarl's shoulder as if tamely.
Jarl glanced at the bird, meeting its eye as if communing with it somehow, before they both looked back to the mage. A heavy sigh passed through Ragnar's large, armoured frame as the bird called out.
In the distance, the drums pounded slowly faster...