Mirodon had seen a lot of orphans in recent years. That fact made it no easier to look upon the two hobbit children huddled close together in their wagon, still clinging to one another. These poor children had suffered a loss that no children should be forced to endure, but was all too common in Cardolan in these dark days. It was up to him to find them a new home—a place where they could feel safe, be loved, and prosper in spite of what they had endured. That was, as a great many things, easier said than done, Mirodon mused. Yet, he was resolved that it would be done.
Orhad, too, thought of the children. He occasionaly glanced at them, but quickly averted his eyes each time he did. Guilt and remorse haunted his countenance. It was clear that the full weight of his deeds had come to rest upon his conscience. He had chosen to follow the Black Ones, those servants of Angmar, and perhaps he would never truly be free from the scars that service had inflicted. Yet, Mirodon reflected, the words of Fjorin and, indeed, his own words had a profound effect on the wayward Cardolan soldier. Orhad was changed. The realization and regret of his misdeeds was the first step on the path toward righting the wrongs he had committed in their service. He had taken his first steps on that path.
There was a lesson here; a warning. Mirodon shared many of Orhad’s concerns about Cardolan’s governance. In many ways he himself embodied its conflicts and turmoil. He understood what was at stake. No matter how bleak things appeared, there was always a right way. The ends did not justify all means. The path trod was no less important than the destination to which it led. How could one expect to create a better world through evil? It was impossible. He needed to remain mindful of that, Mirodon realized. Sometimes the right choice could become obscured behind the veil of suffering caused by the shadow.
Ahead, the trail twisted and led into a ravine. Another path opening before them. What choices would face them here, Mirodon wondered. The company marched on.