The broom kicked up dust as the hapless girl swept the stairs leading to the second floor of the Huntsman and Stag. Hair in her face, she continued to work as her grim thoughts tormented her.

"Aglarari, you will save us all."

She grimaced, sweeping harder. Her parents had counted on her. One a Black Numenorean lord, another a Nurnhoth slave. They had both wanted to same thing. Their daughter, Aglarari, was to succeed her father as lady of his provence. She would not only have secured Aglarzor's power and legacy, but rescued her fellow slaves from being surrendered to a darker, crueler master if Aglarzor had been without an heir and lost his crown.

When Aglarari died in an Ithillien skirmish, when Eira was born, she had let everyone down. When she ran away from Mordor, from her past, the guilt continued to chase her. She had abandoned her responsibilities, her family, and her people for her own freedom.

Was this freedom worth it? She never wanted to go near to Mordor again, and she loved the lands of Bree, yet her shame from leaving ate her up day and night. She shuddered, picking up her dust pan and sweeping the dirt at the bottom of the steps into it. Her mother was still in Nurn. Her mother, whom she loved dearly, was still a slave to Mordor. Aglarzor, without an heir, would be facing the threat of losing power once again. This was all her fault.

She walked over to the trash bin in the kitchen and dumped the dust in. Looking around, the kitchen was spotless. Not a splotch of food around the oven and fire, all the tables were clean. The dishes were washed and polished to perfection, and the shelves bad been dusted. Not a spec of dust was out of place. Eira was exhausted, having labored all day here. She had worked in far worse conditions and health, however, and did not know when to stop. She especially did not know how to stop when cleaning was the only comfort against her shame ridden psyche. 

Slumped, she picked up the broom and dustpan and headed to the main dining area. She had already cleaned there twice, but was so sure she had to have missed something.

The shame was demolishing her, inside and out.