8th Narvinye - Bree and revelations
This night we ate good food, drank good beer, and talked of the barrow downs and our road ahead. I retired early to write and think, yet it has brought me neither comfort nor solace.
We have made good time, although Jack is as unhappy with the pace as is my zandush. Also there has been thunder and storm both yesterday morning and today, which has slowed our pace a little. We passed through Rood yesterday and without stopping. I did not see Begley the Smith; he must forgive our necessity for speed. We skirted Velhel also, using another old campsite at which to rest.
Erethor foraged as always, though Yawinawin has taken a renewed interest in the cooking, for which I am grateful. Her meals are improving, though slowly. I think that Moth is becoming more used to travellers fare, as she has been consuming each new repast with every indication of delight.
As soon as we were through the gate of Bree, I went with all speed to the Smith, John, in order to collect the new wall shield that he was to make for me. It is a fine shield of good balance. The structure, height and breadth are almost exactly those of my first shield, but the shape is quite different. No longer will I catch myself, or an enemy, on the corners of the shield, for there are none. On each of the four edges the shield is curved, giving a shape partway between an oval and a four leafed clover, if one can imagine such a thing. The weight is a little less, but it is possible that this may allow me to move in battle more swiftly and with greater ease. I had still owed 7 silver pieces for the work, but it was worth every coin. The steel bound wall has been stained to a colour partway between blue and purple, the shade of a thunderstorm gathering in the west as the sun descends behind the heights of Baranzibar that covers the now dark halls of Uruktharbun. I have kept the smaller shield, indeed I thanked him, for it has served me well. My experience with the wights of the barrows though has taught me to be prepared, and from now on I will carry a spare if I can.
Moth came with me to the Smith, as she wished to talk with me alone. What she told me has lessened some worries whilst enhancing others. She referred back to the trial in which we had participated in Dunland, in Larrach Dunnain. This was just over a fortnight back, on the 22nd, whilst we still believed Moth a man, and just prior to meeting Yawinawin. A claim had been made against us in court, and Moth had agreed to speak for us. She/he appeared to lie, to our detriment. It was said that we were aware that the original defendant had had gambling debts, which was quite untrue, we knew of no such thing. Additionally Erethor was portrayed in a very bad light. I believe that Erethor had lost some of his self control, and dealt out justice with a heavy hand in the events that led to the trial, yet he was portrayed in court as a hired killer. Erethor has sworn to have justice done upon Moth when we return to Gondor, and it would be a sore subject to raise with him; I am sure that the memory is still to close. However, what Moth had to say was most important and should be known by Erethor as soon as is convenient. I may have to try and persuade her to tell him in the days to come.
Moth told me that she believes that she was bewitched when she spoke in Larrach Dunnain. Her magic is of the mind, and one of the spells that may be wrought with it is to change ones perceptions, alter ones memory. This she feels was done to her. She felt at the time that her memories of the events were real, and yet it is clear to her now that they were false. I would have thought that one wielder of mind magics would be resilient to another, but she says that it is not so.
This is dire news indeed. It strengthens my belief and trust in Moth, as did my glimpse into her thoughts when we stood in the library of Anuminas, however it means that there have been two attempts to stop our quest, first assassins on the road, and then false charges in Dunland. And what of the burning Inn on the road from Minas Tirith, was that too meant for us, but mistimed? I must also not forget that Yawinawin hides dark thoughts. Was it coincidence that we met up with her during our escape from Larrach Dunnain? It had not occurred to me before, but she may have been fleeing down the same tunnels as we. Had she departed Larrach Dunnain early, after an attempt to seal our fate? We must proceed with great caution.
I remember the words of Farin, in Erebor, my homeland.
"Mahal, Lord in high mountains,
Be the heft of the hammer,
The strength of the shield.
Reveal to us our enemies,
And give us the resolve to do thy will,
As we strive for truth.
'Til we stand before your throne,
In Power And Glory Eternal."
They were simpler times, and I a simpler Dwarf.