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Hadrell's Journal

29th Hisme, before dawn.

My limbs are weary, yet sleep was fleeting and will not come again. I have put fresh timber on the fire and await the light of a new day. I pray the autumn sun will warm me, the fire gives little comfort, and I feel as cold as if I had been plunged in the crystal waters of Kibil-nala.

Harsh dreams and memories visited me seemingly from the moment my eyes were closed. I saw again the battles that ravaged Erebor whilst we waited for the destruction of the One ring and Sauron's downfall. I heard again the cries of fury in that first great battle with the Easterlings, when Dain II was carried, slain, from the field. I saw each conflict with the orcs that scarred our fair land. I saw the new king, Thorin Stonehelm, standing strong and defiant, and yet with little hope in his heart for the enemy was without number.

But what stays with me most clearly on this cold crisp morning are the sounds; the sound of the bowstring, the sound that the black feathered arrows of the enemy made as they tore the air, and the sound of my comrades falling, some yet to engage the foe. Some of the arrows carried poison upon their barbed heads and the deaths that these caused were hard indeed. I saw my compatriots doubled in pain, heard their bones crack as their muscles spasmed, heard their tortured last gasps for breath. I remembered every face, and emerged from my brief slumber weeping for their pain

There are very few of the Khazad that use bows, though there are those that are trained in the crossbow. I do not think that I could ever bring myself to use either.

I am the sum of my experiences, and I know that they lead me to judge, perhaps unfairly, those that wield these weapons. This is clear to me in this cold night air, but I regret that when warmed by the heat of battle my instincts become my ruler, and I am less understanding.

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