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Moth's Journal

This has been the first opportunity I have had to update this journal of my travels, although the journey is proving to be more intriguing than I first thought. I had little opportunity to try my luck with gaining insight into my companions before we reached Minas Tirith. When we finally reached the gate, I believe that their awe was not lost on Hadrell, who stopped awhile to admire the work. Even now, having lived there so long, they sent a thrill through my being – a sign that I was home once more. After he had produced the appropriate paperwork to obtain passage into the city, Erethor was much dismayed to learn that he would be required to leave his horse behind, for it is the custom to not ride or drag carts through the city, one which is of practicality – there would simply be too little room amongst other reasons. Both my companions kept forgetting that I was of the city and knew its routes well, however, I had never been to the Seventh Level, and the guards sent Elabride to guide us there. A number of sights gave cause to delay us, for although I believe the Rider had been here before, it had been a long time and his way of life brought him into very little contact with the hustle and bustle of a large number of folk in a small area. The Dwarf had not seen the like of this place before, though, and several times I had to explain details, a popular ball game being played down an alley, people pushing to sell their wares. Both Erethor and Hadrell were perplexed by a glass sword for sale – they did not see it as a thing of beauty. The glass rose bush, however, they understood.

We had to wait for Hadrell to catch up with us often, but at one point he delayed at length to fish a medallion from a drain, so it could be returned to its rightful owner. He failed but it was gallant of him, nonetheless. There were a few comments about the buildings and the splendour, though also a few remarks about shoddy stone working. I stopped briefly at my rooms to ensure all was well and to pick up a little trinket of Elbrian's to take with me – it would serve to comfort me in the future, for I had a dark foreboding I would be in this city for very little time. And be gone for an age. I saw no-one I recognised, I had hoped for a brief word with Molly, but no such luck. Nor did I see any of my friends from the libraries. And so we travelled to the Seventh Level. As I said, I'd not had reason to visit here before, and was suitably impressed by the approach and the white marble. A part of me wondered too, what books might be contained within. The tunnel to the level was flooded slightly, and wetted and muddied our boots. Again, Erethor showed the paperwork he had been given and we were escorted inside. The building was indeed pretty. We were apparently to have an audience with the Tarlequin. Although we were shown to a waiting chamber where we were given refreshment and attended to by the Lady Gilorwen – as an interesting aside here, I believe she aided in tending wounded during the war. And while those great heroic deeds elsewhere are written of, here is a quiet heroine.

So we were requested to leave off our muddied boots in the white marble halls with their fantastic mosaics and pool, and shown to rooms of our own for the evening – such pure luxury! There were robes laid out in case we required them and water for bathing. I was glad of this and took great pains to relax and enjoy this, though not the robe, I dared not touch it.

The thing I remember most of this place, this palace, was the library. Five hundred and more books there were that I would have willingly given anything to read. I stared and stared, my eyes couldn’t take them all in, and then I turned to the Tarlequin after hearing him speak. He is blind but not to magic…..He talked with us at length, told us of things I dare not repeat here, for were this book to fall into the wrong hands, and we have all sworn to secrecy…….He spoke of ancient things and of a quest which we would undertake. I recalled bridling at a comment Erethor made about Gandalf being more suitable for the requirements of a wizard. He knew nothing of me at that point, and he still knows little of my full potential. And besides, surely even Gandalf himself had to start somewhere. And while I was able to point out that books of magic can be as dangerous and unpredictable as Rings, a comment the Tarlequin himself agreed with, the Dwarf and Erethor discussed the trapping of information into words on paper. However, they finally saw the point of my accompanying them, indeed , so did I! We need to travel apparently to Anuminas, to the ruins of a great library and Erethor accepted the key that is supposed to unlock any door there. If what we seek is not there then we are to travel to Fornost, and at some point we are to retrace our steps to Tharbad, to report to Commander Silas. There are two books around which this is revolving, one a diary of Minstan. The other is one which has a spell in it. Again, I do not wish to say more, I have a good memory and when perhaps this is over and done with, I may fill in the spaces on paper. I did also ask that if I ever have a chance, I might be permitted some time with the books here one day. Perhaps not though, as there seems to be a committee which yet keeps items of magic from the King. And although I know of its name, again I am loath to set it down on paper.

The evening passed with us eating and talking over a map, with which I was eventually entrusted. To my horror I have discovered our route leads us directly through Larrach Dunhain, the place of my birth. I will no doubt be recognised as the lad who lived there once – and Erethor will certainly be more than mightily displeased, for are we not natural enemies? I am his most definitely, but he is certainly no enemy of mine, and I doubt I shall ever be able to convince him of that. I wish he may forgive me of my sin of being Dunnish. I am not proud of it either, I am more at ease in Gondor. Perhaps I should let him know of my heritage rather than keep up this one deception. Though I want Hadrell to be present if I do. It is worrying me horribly, though. I find I am beginning to appreciate the Rider’s company, he is not nearly as off-putting as I originally thought him to be. He has been most helpful since we left Minas Tirith, finding us all food, cooking it even. He even spent time with us in one of the inns on the way. And much to my chagrin, I am almost certain he made sure I was safe and comfortable after a slight visionary miscalculation. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I am now a necessary item rather than a burden, but it all helps with the travelling. And I can see this building of trust all lost with just a few words….I think I should speak with Hadrell first, he may be able to advise me, he is old and wise.

Anyway, I am rambling, where was I ? Ah yes, we were discussing the journey, and both Hadrell and Erethor were only to happy to arrange items we might need, as I informed them I am not used to travel or the cold, and they had both far more knowledge of such matters. I requested something to keep the map in safely, and left shortly after that, as I wanted to "read" the diary that had been talked of. I made myself as comfortable as possible, I am afraid these days that some of my visions are sending me into a deep slumber from which I awaken only during the morning. I stripped my gloves, and held the book………

I see a man in rich red robes, long satin ones, trimmed with fur. He walks through long passageways, he stops and looks for something now and again. Other people, similarly attired pass him now and again. He stops outside a door, he pulls the key Erethor now carries from his pocket, and stops before placing it in the lock. He laughs, holds the key in his other hand and murmurs five or six words, a spell I believe, and waves a hand over the door. Only then does he unlock it and enter the room.

I see the same man, looking around a grand city, talking to other rich scholars.

I see the same man sitting in a chair, opening a large blue leather bound book………..

In the morning Hadrell and I walked down to the gates to meet Erethor at the stables, along with a pack horse carrying items we'd requested. It was a pleasant enough walk and I relished the Dwarf's reactions to this strange place. I don't remember much about the ride, though, apart from it being a hard eight hours, despite stopping for rests and food, it was wet and I can barely keep up riding this pace in the dry. Erethor hunted and cooked for us that night, before Hadrell and I retired to the Inn of the Beacon. I tried to tell a tale that night but failed dismally, for I was too tired and damp, and was mortified that Hadrell appeared bored enough to refill his tankard. We paid for our rooms, I'd requested a private one, Hadrell the common room. Unfortunately, curiosity had gotten hold of me, and I thought to have a hold of the key, bare-handed, to see what I could see. So I snuck out and tried to find Erethor, who had hidden himself well. His horse, however, was only too apparent. A bit of a giveaway that, I would say. The horse whinnied – I believe that is the appropriate word – at me, which served the purpose well enough, as its owner quickly appeared. I put forward my request to him, that I wanted to hold the key awhile and ,if I fell asleep, to wake me and send me back to the inn. He seemed puzzled, and I don’t blame him, he wasn't to know. So off came the gloves and I reached for the key…..

I see a terrifying, misshapen face of dark grey green, goblin-like, I have never seen the like before. It is staring straight at me, wielding a sword around……

I see a tall man wearing long robes, propping himself up with a great staff of clear stone-like material, he is talking to a man with flowing robes and white hair, Saruman, himself………

I see a great many people fleeing a city in flames…………

I don’t know what happened next, I felt my legs give way, it was hazy, but in retrospect from what I can remember, I think Erethor must have caught me, it seemed that way….it can only be what happened, I must have fallen against him or something, he could have had no idea what would happen……….I cannot explain how I saw what I saw next otherwise.

Erethor is riding his horse over a vast open plain. He is clad in full plate, a fine silver and gold helmet on his head, he wields a lance. I find myself looking through his eyes as he spears another goblinoid on the end of his lance, I feel myself/him falling to the ground as the impact of hitting it flings me/him off the horse…………..

I woke in the stables at sunrise, covered in a blanket, and relatively comfortable. I don't know how I got there, I can only guess I was carried, I cannot remember anything after the last vision. I felt shaky, unnerved, and perplexed. As I splashed some water from the trough on my face, I suddenly remembered I'd taken off my gloves outside the night before. I panicked, my life ,were they lost, would be unbearable, and ran out to see Hadrell and Erethor talking quietly together, in that tone of voice that drops just as they look at you, and you know they are talking about you. Thankfully, Erethor found my gloves and wanted to hand them to me, but I was warier than ever of my visions returning and asked him to throw them to me.

So now they know something is unusual. I tried to explain the visions I have and that it might be the reason I was chosen to travel with them, and the images I had see that night. Hadrell was intrigued by the description of the helmet, and Erethor was puzzled, for hardly any Riders would wear plate, and lance is not a weapon he is skilled in. I don't think they are aware of how I have the visions, that it is through touch, and that is much of the reason for what they assume are my strange city ways and my tatty gloves. Both were more concerned as to what would happen if I had a vision and passed out in combat. I tried to assure them that that was unlikely, as I had the visions more or less under control, but, when it comes to combat, they know best and my words fell on deaf ears. Although I seem to recall something about a second quiver of arrows. Far from my being a burden, they were suddenly discussing my protection! Although, that may change all too soon, once my Dunnish blood is mentioned.

Tonight we are to stay at the Inn of the Far Towers. But for now I must ride some more, already my fingers are numbing with the chill of autumn and my back aches. If it may help, perhaps I should remind Erethor of his offer of showing us how to ride with some skill….

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