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Moth's Journal

27thRingare

I was right. Now Hadrell doesn’t trust me either. That much was apparent at the breakfast table, with his obviously pointed comments about Dunnish rogues. By this point I had had more than enough and left the table in a furious temper –a tactic, which Iaurnarwen has since assured me, is most definitely a feminine trait. Hadrell rushed after me, trying desperately to undo the damage with apologies but it is too late. I know he does not trust me.

I would rather he had simply taken a knife and thrust it into my back. It would have hurt less.

I see now that there is no point in my being here. I am useless against those who would battle against us. My magicks are pointless, they take too long to work and have little if no effect when they do. All around me I see the others fighting gallantly and yet I, I can do nothing to aid them. And when I try to help, by perhaps looking to staunch the flow of blood from our poor mule, I am told no by Erethor. Perhaps he thinks I am looking upon it as a meal? Or as a way of deliberately hampering our journey by failing and instead killing the beast?

This fight with the pack of dogs tonight has shown me how pathetic I am. Nothing I could do would help. The word frustration cannot even begin to describe how I feel. Perhaps I want too much too soon, power takes time. But how much time do I have before something or someone reaches me with tooth or blade before another can intervene? Perhaps it would be better if there was no intervention.

I can’t take much more of this, and yet we have so far still to travel. Each night it becomes harder to hold back the tears and feeling of loss the further I distance myself from my little rooms in Minas Tirith. My books never doubted my good intentions, nor were they quick to judge me. I felt good, I excelled at what I did. I had friends. I think I had friends. I know that were it not for Iaurnarwen’s timely arrival, I would feel truly alone. Instinct tells me that I cannot leave the party of my own free will – but I would sooner take my own life than have the Rider cut me down.

Yet today he gave one of the rabbits he had caught for us to a stranger, a vagabond. That is not the action of the heartless. And Hadrell is of good heart also. No,no it must then be me, my fault, my past deceits and my unspilt Dunnish blood. There is no way I can start afresh. Part of me cries out that it would be less trouble to the others if I were out of the way, no more need to watch my actions, no more need to watch their backs ……

Gandalf, if it was indeed you that spoke with my master, where is this strength that you say the journey will give me? For at this moment I have none of my own left.

We travel further still, towards cold and bleak places. We are well-stocked with provisions from Tharbad, no doubt these will be easily stretched with whatever comes the way of a well-placed arrow or two. Iaurnarwen and I shopped for some provisions, herbs, in a small village on our travels. We talked as we did so, about the manipulative ways of what some might call the fairer sex. It seems there is little fair about the games we are supposed to play. And although I appreciate why they are played, for in general we are viewed as weaker, I doubt I could learn to play these games well. If nothing else, my time as a man has taught me to say what I mean.

During these travels, I have noticed that there is something peculiar about Starfire – he is far more intelligent than the few other horses I have come across, certainly he has far more spirit than the docile sweet beast who is serving me well. I assumed until now that the bond he and Erethor shared was simply due to the time they have spent together. But after last night I am not so certain, I think it runs deeper than that. I found myself resorting to approaching Starfire last night in the hope of stirring the Rider, for he was nowhere to be seen; it was time for his watch and I was exhausted. I know he reacts to his mount’s presence, Starfire’s whinny has summoned him before, the night I tried to "read" the key - I thought it may work yet again. So I approached the beast, a little nervously, I have to admit, for although he is a beauty, I do not doubt his capability to look after himself, while he is without his rider and I was somewhat worried that his rider’s prejudices against Dunnish folk might have ….hmm…perhaps rubbed off?

He let me approach without any fuss. Not a whinny, not a sound did he make. So, perplexed, I half-jokingly asked him to find Erethor… and he did. Trotted straight over to him and woke him, almost as if he had understood each word.

It fares ill for the pack mule, though. The poor creature was set upon by one of the dogs, and looked as if it would die, before Erethor’s interventions. Perhaps it would have been kinder to let the beast die, for we may well be unable to journey from this place til the mule recovers at least enough to be able to move. Then, we may be able to manage by sharing the packs out to the other horses until it has healed fully, but if we take into account there may still be people hunting for us, it would be foolish.

And now to add to the misery, it seems Hadrell has managed to rip one of our tents, the night will be cramped and the tears I choke back must remain so for yet another evening. For I will not shed them in front of others. I have shown weakness enough already.

29th Ringare

Too much travel and sleeping out in storms and rough places has been the standard for the last day or so. And yet there was a moment when I felt at peace, at ease, calm. Our route has taken us towards the downs, where apparitions have already shown themselves to Hadrell, and plagued myself and Iaurwenawen with strange sounds. I may have appeared unnerved by the thought of what the Downs might hold –but I know better than most the effects of being shown other times and places. Here, I should tread warily, for if my hands are prone to the effects of the past in daily objects, who knows the effect this haunted place may have on my mind? We chose to spend the night in the ruins of a building in the woods rather than travel further into unknown and haunted surroundings.

I found a mosaic there, an illustration of an animal, a quite exquisite mosaic, so I spent a little time replacing the tiles as they once were. The nature of the animal depicted quite eluded us all, so I decided to "read" the work – I was no use at anything else, I might as well keep myself amused somehow. I saw feet, not unexpectedly, and many different people, and an elven figure in green, as if he were the host in this once fine house, this strangely fine house in the middle of the woods.

When I slept, I dreamed of him, watching over me, stroking my hair – the first friendly touch I have felt since leaving my brother behind – and I felt calm, as if no harm could come to me here. I wish I knew who this figure was, I could perhaps thank him somehow, for he alleviated my melancholy for a little time at least. But he is most likely nothing but a phantom of the past, a dream, no more.

On another, brighter, note our pack mule is recovering, despite the poor beast being laden with our luggage – I had to move my packs onto my own steed, I didn’t want to think I was adding to its hurt. Yet the Rider left his own heavier pack on its back, which struck me as odd. Surely it would have been kinder to relieve the animal of some of the weight? Still, I suppose he knows more of these things than I, although a part of me wonders if he deems the mule too unworthy. Perhaps it would have a different story if it was his beautiful steed’s life in question?

My my, but I’m a bitter little mortal today.

Perhaps Hadrell should not have mocked me so openly. Still feeling somewhat useless, I raised the question as to why I had not been included on watch, and in doing so, voiced my thoughts on how useless I was……

And then from nowhere, or maybe from a need to set straight the friendship that has gone awry somewhere, Hadrell launched into a tirade of how brave I was, how I stood up against my enemy with my poor weapon skill and pathetic little wooden stick – oh, the courage that I showed. Who does he think he’s fooling with his exaggerated singing of praises? Thankfully his singing proper has recently improved. I suppose for that small mercy I, no, indeed we all, most especially our elven friend with her exquisite sense of tune, should be grateful.

Ah well, I am sure there will be many more delights yet to come.

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