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Hadrell's Journal

2nd Narvinye, of Bree and the Words of the Maker.

Once more it is in the early hours of the morning that I write. The day has begun, though there are many hours still 'til the sun will show its face. The day is new and unsullied.

Yesterday we arrived at Bree, a small town, but with much history. We are staying in the Prancing Pony, the very inn that Frodo Baggins and the One Ring rested in as they journeyed to Rivendell, there to join with Lord Gimli on the great quest. We have been given each a fine room for the night, clearly as thanks for the rescue and delivery of Posco and Ilberic. We ate, drank and smoked with them, and discussed many things. Though my thoughts concerning tomb robbing have not changed, it is clear that these folk are not evil, merely inquisitive and misguided. I apologised to them, saying that perhaps I had judged them too swiftly, and subsequently all seemed easier between us.

We have all spent time scouring Bree for those items that we perceived as necessary for our continuing journey. The others purchased waterskins and the like. I went in search of a shield. I am much used to a style of fighting that requires a shield. It is a moveable wall from behind which the axe darts and slashes, and then also it is a ram with which to strike an opponent, bearing them backwards, unbalanced and off-guard, open to the final blow. The loss of my great shield in the battle of the barrow weighed heavy upon me.

Erethor took me to see the smith in the afternoon. We are leaving Bree later this morning, travelling North, and therefore there was no time for a shield of my designing to be created before we departed. I would have to see what was available. The smith was able to produce only one shield of any real defensive value, and at first I was taken with it, not only with its construction, but also with its motif. It is only since paying for it that I have started to reconsider. It is a small shield made by halflings for halflings, and it bears as a device, a crest in the shape of a plump roasted fowl. Irrespective of its appearance, however, it will comfort me in battle. And battle, I am certain, will soon be upon us, for the library at Anuminas is only a few days away.

My faith in the chicken shield was shaken sufficiently that, after picking up a few offcuts from the tanner, I returned to the smith and ordered a large shield to be made for me, a full wall shield. It has been paid for in advance, and I will collect it when we return to Bree in a week or so.

Later, at the inn, we were introduced to Master Blueberry, a most senior Hobbit, and the feasting continued. Yawinawin was persuaded to perform for us, and she played and sang many songs. She sang about Posco and Ilberic at the barrow, and it was as if they were brave hero's of old daring to stride into the unknown, seeking danger and glory. I did not begrudge them their moment, for the sounds from her harp were like as to none that I had ever heard before. It was as if I sat enchanted, and in the music I heard the words of Aule, the Maker. Clear and crisp they were, unintelligible to mortal, yet reforming and enhancing all that they touched.

I was also persuaded to entertain, and began the tale of the White worm. Alas, either I was still shaken by the beauty of Yawinawin's playing, or the ale and weed had had a greater effect than of which I had been aware, for I stumbled and stuttered over the story 'til almost none were listening. As I mumbled to a finish however, Yawinawin sang again, retelling my tale as only a gifted minstrel can. I wished then that there were whiskers upon my chin to hide the blush of blood rising to my cheeks.

The soft Breeland bed beckons, and I must sleep to clear the ale from my head before the journey continues. Anuminas awaits; may the Maker watch over us.

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