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Hadrell's Journal

4th Ringare - Inn of Greys.

I have left the company at last to seek solitude in which to write. We have talked long this evening to little effect.

It is now 5 days since we left Meduseld, the Golden Hall of Edoras, yet the journey to Minas Tirith is but half completed.

The hall was indeed a sight to behold, the golden roof glinting in the sunlight, and the king that sits in the hall is its equal, strong and fair. Eomer himself welcomed us to the Golden Hall, and it was he who introduced our odd companion, the man, or should I say boy, called Moth.

I do not fully trust him, this "Moth". He is handsome enough, and has a good clear voice. He dresses as would a scholar or a scribe, though his true worth to our party is unknown. He is of the race of men, from Gondor I believe, and men mature quicker, perhaps, than we dwarves, yet I doubt that he has lived fully two decades. What wisdom can he have collected in that meagre time? Also he has yet to give his real name or lineage: what does he hide?

He has a peculiar affectation. He wears worn leather gloves at almost all times, yet they are not gauntlets and would give no defence in combat. I have offered to repair the small tears in them yet the offer was refused. He wears no armour, and carries no greater weapon than a plain wooden staff. There is clearly more to him than meets the eye, but he is a riddle that may take some time to unravel. It is clear that he is to be a long-term companion, however to what end is unclear.

Erethor also appears uncertain of our new companion. The Rohirrim have never been book learned, their history is sung round the fire rather than being pinned to the page, therefore being a scribe garners little respect. Also, I believe that, like me, Erethor will judge whether a friend is worthy by his actions in the thick of battle and at other crucial moments. I hope to be ageeably surprised should such a situation arise, though the hopes are not great.

I am starting to understand the rider a little better. I think I judged too swiftly at our first meeting. Eomer is Erethor's king and treats him as a great man, almost an equal. And I have been charged with this mans protection. A rider of Rohan that requires a Dwarven guard and a scribe from the white city must be worthy of great respect. I do not approve of his choice of weapon, yet he is most skilled in its use. I have seen him take conies and hares with ease, loosing arrows from the saddle as he rides.

Eomer presented me with a pony of Halfling stock on the morning that we departed from Edoras. He is a fine beast, named Jack, yet he is no warhorse, and to wield a weapon whilst in the saddle would involve letting go of the reins with at least one hand. I do not believe that my balance has yet reached that proficiency. I think that Erethor finds my predicament amusing. Erethor's horse seems to react to his masters thought rather than any instruction, spoken or otherwise.

Eomer was in a good mood that day in the Golden Hall, full of joy and mirth. He is a fine king. Moth and Erethor seemed uncomfortable and knew not whether to laugh at his jests. I can see that the king is still a man, and laughed loudly with him. Eomer requested that I tell a tale while we feasted. Not a task that any Dwarf would take lightly. I decided after some consideration to tell a tale of Khazad-dum at its height, before the dark times, when the great realm of the Dwarrowdelf shone with the captured light of sun, moon and star. I was not fully prepared and faltered at times, yet the story seemed to be appreciated. Erethor told a tale of ancient days, a legend from the time when the Rohirrim came from the North to settle in the grasslands that are now their home. Moth told a tale also, and he told it well. I cannot remember the twists and turns of the plot, but it was a merry tale, full of laughter and intrigue, and deeds both good and bad, great and small. Maybe I have misjudged Moth also. He came alive when he had an audience, and his eyes seemed to sparkle in the hall's firelight. After his performance for Eomer the Thain, I would not be surprised if he were an actor or a bard. Still, all will be made clear in time, of that I am certain.

That night at Edoras saw much confusion. At first we thought that Moth was present to prepare Erethor for his meeting with King Aragorn, there being no other clear reason to come and meet us prior to our arrival at Minas Tirith. Yet this was not to be the case. Moth has no more information concerning our assignment than we do. He had been asked to meet us and accompany us to Minas Tirith where, to our knowledge, we are to be presented to the King. Aragorn himself will lay a task upon us all, and thus companions we may be for some time.

Tonight we lodge at the Inn of Greys. The inn is most comfortable, and the ale I have tasted above average for a 'man'made brew. Erethor does not seem to be completely at ease in any inn, and I would guess that it is the result of having spent many nights under the stars with only the wind in the grass and his horse for company. He rises early every day to tend to his beast and have it commiserate with him, that he has had to sleep in a stuffy dormitory, and not surrounded by the clean smell of stable hay.

Though we three have talked a great deal, very little is yet clear. There are many questions that still await answers.

It is 10 days to Minas Tirith according to Moth. He has just travelled the route. Query - 20 days travel from Minas Tirith to Edoras and back just to greet us and to receive a horse?

Why have we been chosen?

What is so special about this rider that he is treated with such honour?

What will be the task laid before us?

And why are two warriors to travel with a charismatic, yet enigmatic, book learned youth?

I am looking forward to seeing the renowned white city for the first time. There I may receive answers. Yet answers or no, I will still follow the path and attempt any quest that King Aragorn and Aule may place before me.

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