There were three of them, at the mountain pass at which a minor battle had been fought--the Ogre, the limping Erl, and the tall figure that most considered an Erl for convience sake.
Nisrioch Cthonique glanced around the pass, his rainbow-colored eyes sparkling and shifting. "You know... this is quite a lovely place, when you get down to it." He smiled sadly. "One could build a rather nice house here."
Rodomonte glanced at him. "Really?"
"Oh, yes," said Nisrioch. "Consider the views." The Ogre raised an eyebrow. Nisrioch frowned. "Come now," he muttered. "You're a Troll. Remember Kitvekh!"
"Always," said Rodomonte, glancing at the harsh terrain. "But Kitvekh lies in a lovely valley, and is a place of peace, and gentleness. This... is a less pleasant area."
Ruggier gave a nod, and glanced over at a mound of bodies, laying on the ground. "And we know why." He gave a bitter sigh. "This is all my handiwork, at the root of it."
"No," said Rodomonte. "No, young lion, it is..."
"Do not lie to me, Rodomonte," said Ruggier. "I have studied the ways of war for... most of my life, thinking I could be of service to my land that way, even if I could not on the field." He shut his eyes. "And now... now I see what this means."
"Did you drive these men to war, Duke of Tremisona? Or the men who fought them?" asked Nisrioch quietly. "Did you place swords in their hands, and arrows in their bows?"
"No," replied Ruggier forcefully. "I gave a plan that lead to their deaths."
"And had you not, what would have happened?" said Nisrioch. "Do you imagine they would be hale and healthy?"
Ruggier shut his eyes. "I... I did not imagine it would be like this."
Nisrioch nodded. "No one ever does."
"Not even you?" asked the Ogre.
"Not even I," said Nisrioch sadly.