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Hadrell's Journal

10th Narvinye - Safely across the Downs

We are camped just north of Dinath, a little further down the Greenway from Metraith. We should reach Tharbad on the morrow.

This night my thoughts once again turn to food. My mind is full of flavours. Yawinawin's meal tonight was surprisingly good, but it is the deer that has spent the day hanging behind Erethor's saddle that my tastebuds crave. Maybe we shall partake when we reach Tharbad. When it is skinned, I shall ask Erethor for some of the hide. I am certain I can remember enough to prepare and tan it and then I will have leather with which to fashion fancies, and to practice my skills.

Yestermorn the Prancing Pony provided us with the most excellent of breakfasts. Upon the platter were eggs and bacon, sausages, blood pudding, fried potatoes, tomatoes and mushrooms. Combined with a tisane or two, I was prepared for anything that day. And yet the day was quiet, and we passed across the downs without incident.

Upon the downs we passed men travelling north, hurrying to reach Bree, and also a Hobbit walking party passing among the barrows apparently for exercise and amusement. As my chin is without whiskers, and my stature limited, even for a dwarf, my similarity to a hobbit has been commented upon more than a few times, sometimes with malice, and sometimes without. My appearance may be similar, however it is in my beliefs and attitudes that I differ. My companions and I know only too well the dangers that lie within these barrows, and any who would become trapped by fog or darkness in these hills would be at great risk. And yet the hobbits of Bree and Staddle treat the area lightly, and seem to wander through it without a care. I pray that their innocence keeps them safe.

We also spotted two of the Great Eagles, Gwaihir's kin. Their aeries are likely in the North, or away East in the Misty Mountains, but their great wings carry them far over the lands. They were high up and soon departed upon their own business.

Erethor found us a new camp site last night, several miles North of the site at which we had stopped on our northward trek. This was to my liking, as I remember well the ghostly vision we spied upon the road close by those ruins.

As we left Bree, a maid approached Erethor, and although their conversation was brief, he came away from it bearing a handkerchief. Moth believed it was the favour of a lady, yet when we enquired of Erethor last night he stated that it was linked to a message destined for Commander Cillis in Tharbad from a ranger of the north. I forget that, although Erethor has a duty to us, and to the quest of the palantiri, he has had to put aside many other duties, and this must bear heavily upon him. It will gladden him that he is able to combine our ride to Tharbad with the delivery of important news from the Bree-lands, and the North.

I will retire now and dream of the fine fare of my kin; spiced venison pie, krarn stuffed ox heart and sugared turkals washed down with Ereborean mulled beer the colour of polished walnut wood by firelight.

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