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    Through the Mournshaws

    Sunday, 30th of Afterlithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    Somewhere in the Land of Enedwaith

    The Mournshaws

    I awoke to Nephyn's gentle prodding and found the sky was still dark. I rolled over, yawned, stretched, and tried to rub the sleep from my eyes.

    "I see we are back to our old ways of rising well before the Sun," I said. "No doubt I have Gaelira to thank for this. What is the time?"

    "About the fourth hour from midnight, I think," came Nephyn's reply, "But I am hardly sure myself as I too was only just roused by Lagodir. There is something strange going on: when we went to sleep there were a few small lamps burning here in Maur Tulhau, but now it is as dark as the dregs of an ink-pot. Let's go and see what is afoot."

    After blundering about for a little while in the gloom, Nephyn and I were able to locate a small cluster of people near the town centre. Iolo Brachtu, mayor of the village, was there and speaking with Gaelira, Lagodir, and Drodie in hushed tones.

    "I think this gambit of yours is wise, she-Elf," the mayor was saying, "By leaving here so soon and under cover of darkness you hide your trail. Moreover, you remove yourselves from our home, thereby... More

    by Padhric on 2018-05-30 09:47:56

    Of Horsemen and Hobbits

    Sterday, 29th of Afterlithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    Maur Tulhau, Somewhere in the Land of Enedwaith

    A hobbit-house in Maur Tulhau
    Our Company had made camp well outside of bowshot from the walls of the Algraig settlement of Lhanuch in the midst of the Enedwaith -- in fact, we had pitched our tents in a small copse of trees off the eastern side of the Great North Road, so it was a good ten-minute walk to its gate. Having agreed to not bed down among the suspicious natives, we decided it was best to keep a respectful distance. I, for one, was perfectly happy with the arrangements given the welcome we had so far received in that land.
    It was after midnight. Dark clouds had suddenly rose up from the West and thunder rumbled ominously in the hills, but it sounded to still be some ways off. I had been tossing and turning in my blankets for hours, unable to sleep: the wind had risen again and howled in the rocky crevices of the plains while the tree-branches above us creaked and groaned as they were tossed about. 
    Finally, I could stand the din no longer. As I rose and began to walk about, I saw Lagodir was asleep (ever since the destruction of Guloth in... More

    by Padhric on 2018-05-23 09:13:38

    The Wilds of Enedwaith

    Sunday, 23rd of Afterlithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    Somewhere in the Land of Enedwaith

    One of the Shadow-wolves of Enedwaith

    The howling wind woke us all quite early as branches creaked and cracked in the gale. A fierce wind was blowing down from the North, driving all the clouds in the overcast sky before them with the threat of rain. As I collected my belongings (or tried to, as several of them kept getting blown away), I hoped the day would not be a wet one.

    Breakfast was little more than a biscuit or two while standing amidst the ruins of Echad Mirobel while saying our farewells to Maegamiel, leader of the Elves in that place. He thanked us many times for our assistance in the defeat of the half-orcs the day before, but was disappointed that he could tell us nothing more about their aims or purposes.

    "I know naught of these half-breeds," said Maegamiel in disgust, "Save that their coming to Eregion heralds nothing good for me and my people. I hope very much that our efforts against them yesterday will serve as a deterrent to any others which may seek to harry our lands."

    "Maintain your vigilance, good Maegamiel," Gaelira told him, "I fear that more... More

    by Padhric on 2018-05-16 05:55:18

    Return to Mirobel

    Sterday, 8th of Afterlithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    The High Moor, Somewhere in the Trollshaws

    A mysterious encampment

    The next morning began overcast and dreary, which was a perfect mirror of my own feelings at having to leave Rivendell yet again. We gathered in the courtyard of Elrond's House to bid him and many of his household farewell (Mr. Baggins was there too; he made me promise to bring back a sketch of something called a gwirod, but I was never able to gather from his rambling exactly what one is), then we hoisted our packs and the journey began. There was no fanfare or pomp during our departure -- to me, it felt as if we were off to the butcher's to grab a side of beef and we were expected home before lunch.

    In reality, of course, we were setting out for Dunland, a remote and harsh land somewhere well south of the Doors to Moria. My knowledge of that region was as sparse as its population -- from what I could gather according to my companions -- and I'm still not entirely sure whether its inhabitants are to be trusted. Still, our arrival there is some weeks off, so there's no point in worrying about such things now.

    The air was damp and stuffy as... More

    by Padhric on 2018-05-10 09:54:24

    A Time for Recovery

    Mersday, 6th of Afterlithe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Last Homely House, Rivendell

    My attempt at sketching the Last Homely House from the pine-woods

    Yesterday marked a fortnight since Lagodir was cured by Elrond here in Rivendell. The time since was mostly filled with patient anticipation as we waited for our friend to regain consciousness, although much else was done in the interim as well. Most of it would likely bore you though, Dear Reader, so I will only attempt the briefest summation of those days.

    You may recall from my previous entry that Gaelira had been going in and out of Elrond's House repeatedly without explanation. I eventually did ask her why, and the answer was simple and obvious when I heard it: Hremm, our raven-friend, had of course taken up permanent residence in that valley (I myself had forgotten this at the time), and Gaelira had simply been searching for him because she wished to gather news as to whether Minasse or Mallacai had been sighted anywhere near his nest. Neither had, unfortunately, nor had there been any word from Malkan the eagle. This lack of information put Gaelira (Nephyn too, I later discovered) a bit on edge, and... More

    by Padhric on 2018-05-06 11:46:21

    Endings and Beginnings

    Monday, 7th of Forelithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    Somewhere in the Land of Eregion

    A gondath of the Noldor

    After only an hour's rest or so and a light meal, it was time to move on. Gaelira held the gondath we had finally recovered from the depths of Durin's Treasury safely among her gear, and so we moved to extricate ourselves from the Mines of Moria as quickly as possible. I was only too happy to do this, but Nephyn and Lagodir seemed eager to settle their bet while Drodie wished to see more of his ancestors' home. Gaelira and I prevailed with good sense, though: the wager was postponed to a more opportune time and Drodie was persuaded to be content with the considerable amount of Moria he had seen during our brief time within it.

    Our departure was slow, silent, and (thankfully) uneventful. Retracing our steps was not easy in the dark, but Gaelira led us well. It was only a couple of hours later when we found ourselves back at the west-gate, where we leaned our shoulders against the stone and swung the door open. We were immediately blinded by a dazzling brilliance! We all shielded our faces in pain at the onslaught.

    "Ow! My eyes!" I cried, but I was... More

    by Padhric on 2018-05-02 10:53:54

    The Forgotten Treasury

    Sunday, 6th of Forelithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    Somewhere in the Mines of Moria

    Morhun the Orc

    When I awoke there was a terrible chittering sound in what felt like my very ears. A vision of the enormous Moria-insects we had encountered before flashed before my eyes in the pitch black, causing me to bolt upright and fumble for my dagger, but a moment later I felt Gaelira's hand laid gently upon my shoulder.

    "You can relax, Master Hobbit," came her calm, reassuring voice. "It is only a small grodbog, as Drodie calls them, and it is not as near as it sounds."

    The stone walls and gaping caverns of Moria were continuing to play their tricks on my ears, and the pervasive darkness of the Mines only served to amplify my own anxiety. In a short while, however, the five of us were huddled around Drodie's lantern and munching on breakfast (such as it was), causing all memory of my frightful rousing to evaporate. Instead, I could feel myself starting to become positively sick for a sight of the Sun again, even after finding some relief yesterday in the Dwarf-gardens of Tharakh-bazan. The visitation had enheartened me at the time, but was now serving as a... More

    by Padhric on 2018-04-23 10:57:28

    A Deathly Secret

    Sterday, 5th of Forelithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    Somewhere in the Mines of Moria

    Another clue left to us by Saxolf, Treasure-seeker

    It was Gaelira, once again who roused us in the darkness. She had kept watch and tended our little camp-fire for roughly four hours while the rest of us rested, and now she urged us to make haste. What had given her cause to rush us so she would not say, but her voice sounded worrisome to me. During our hurried breakfast, she recounted what we had learned from the day before and also laid out what we hoped to accomplish today.

    "Saxolf's scroll was cryptic, but I believe it gives us enough to go on as a start," she said. She spoke quickly, but whether it was excitement or fear I could not tell. "Begin at Durin's Vault. Let the Four Points guide you. We should start by locating Durin's Vault, then see what there is to see about these four points."

    "And what about the runes?" asked Nephyn. "E, S, and W? Have you worked out what those might mean? It seems as if they could be the points of a compass, only N for north would be missing."

    "The same thought had occurred to me," Gaelira replied, "But then there is also the strange,... More

    by Padhric on 2018-04-16 05:47:23

    The Word-hoard of Durin

    Highday, 4th of Forelithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    Somewhere in the Mines of Moria

    Tomes from the Dwarven Library of Katub-zahar

    Gaelira roused us all in the dark. It was impossible to tell what time it was, but the she-Elf seemed to think we had rested for roughly five hours, or perhaps a bit longer. Waking into pitch darkness is quite disorienting, I can tell you, but once I could see Drodie's nose light up as he fed his lantern my head stopped going giddy on me. We breakfasted, but it turned out none of us were really hungry, so it wasn't much more than a cold bite standing.

    "Today we shall continue our search for the word-hoard of Durin," Gaelira told us as we prepared to move on. "Nephyn's excellent idea of seeking records of the gondath is as good a plan as any of us could come up with, and I have no doubt it will prove fruitful if only we can find this library."

    "As to that," I said quietly (for our stone surroundings would echo and magnify the slightest sound something terrible), "I'm perfectly happy to let Drodie lead us to wherever he supposes such a place might be -- I'm certain I've no idea myself."

    "Neither do I," came Drodie's reply, but... More

    by Padhric on 2018-04-09 10:44:27

    Into the Black Pit

    Mersday, 3rd of Forelithe, Year 1417 Shire-reckoning
    Moria, Somewhere Beneath the Misty Mountains

    I awoke to find myself being gently nudged. Rolling over, there was Nephyn's smiling face peering at me in the grey light of foredawn.

    "What is the time?" I asked her after unleashing a cavernous yawn.

    "Minutes before the rising of the Sun," she said softly. "I was wondering if perhaps you would care to join me to see it? It's only a guess, but I think this morning going to be a glorious one."

    "That sounds divine," I said, and I meant it, but at the same time I suddenly felt quite depressed: the sobering fact was we were probably only a few short hours away from leaving the outside world behind us -- perhaps forever -- as our quest was leading straight into the darkness of Moria. That long-abandoned Dwarf-kingdom was rumoured to be home to countless Orcs, goblins, trolls... and worse. Still, it seemed the most sensible place for us to begin our search in earnest for the mysterious gondath, the shadow-stones, which could hold the key to Lagodir's full recovery. If there was any chance our finding those stones could bring him healing and banish Guloth the Tormentor from... More

    by Padhric on 2018-04-03 02:18:11

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