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Moth's Journal

13th Ringare (cont)

Tonight I insisted on staying at the Inn of the Four Towers - the others wished to prepare for staying in the wilds, and I would have none of it. For a start I am still becoming used to riding long hard days, and the weather has not been good. Other reasons though, I am afraid of more visions and I wish to minimise the time spent in the Rider's company while I can.

The inn is cosy enough I suppose, full of the locals busy downing their beers. Some sang songs of great Rohirrim heroes, I believe. Erethor joined in happily, he has a fine singing voice. I sat quietly with Hadrell while we were stared at, obviously we were deeply out of place. The place was brimming over with masculinity. And finally, to add insult to injury, I was propositioned by a serving maid who could have been related to the Uruk-hai themselves. Thankfully the room I have here has a lock on the door so I should be able to sleep with some slight degree of mind's ease.

14th Ringare

Woke refreshed and bright as could be. The others looked uncomfortably tired and I gathered by their expressions that I had obviously made the appropriate decision. But nothing was said further. Again we rode on, and reached the Inn of the Summit at midday, though you could not have told by the sun alone, as rainclouds covered it for the day. Some other travellers, heading the opposite direction, were waiting - the inn was closed and there was no sign of life. So Erethor took off to the tower of Calenhad to report the landlord's absence. I don't feel that this is a good idea - we are supposed to be providing him with support, and looking after him. Yet he insisted on riding off without us.

I spent the time talking over my predicament to Hadrell, who agreed with me that I should tell Erethor of my Dunnish heritage, but suggested I wait until I have proven myself in battle with them. Sage advice, I will take it. I worried however, till the Rider returned. He explained that there was nothing to worry about as the landlord had decided the Tower was more appealing a prospect than the inn. We rode further and camped down for the night, close to a stream just off the road outside the Firien wood. I watched as the canvas was set up, for I may as well learn this, if it is for my benefit alone. We set watches, for which I was glad, as it tired me sufficiently to ignore the stones which would insist on poking me in the middle of my back, no matter how clear the place I lay down.

16th Ringare

I am sat in the sunlight outside Erethor's family home, writing this. Admittedly I could think of preferable places to be, these lands and people make me nervous, and the atmosphere between Erethor and his father is tense to say the least, and I couldn't even understand what was said between them, but being sat here means I don't have to worry about wandering around these parts any more than I need. And who am I to judge family squabbles? I have not seen or heard from my own for a good seven years.

But my heart is chilled, for while we passed through the woods yesterday, we came across, no, I believe we were almost ambushed by a ragtag group of men, who had set fire to the Inn of the Greys. We had arrived in time to see the poor stable lad floored by an arrow in his back, and to be set upon by six louts, wielding a variety of weapons, bows included. I'm not certain exactly what happened, I do not like this combat business very much, but I remember trying to cast a spell at the men with the bows. It seemed to take forever, and I was stood there foolishly while the others were either charging into battle on steeds or on short legs as if they'd been waiting for this moment all their lives. Maybe it is all they wait for, who knows? They are men and I am not. The three closest to us were taken down, with the help of an elf who appeared from the woods when we needed help most. I do not think that will ever be admitted to or agreed to by the others, however, for they most certainly had the situation in hand. Finally, after the three close to the inn had crossed the bridge and were in range, I shouted a warning and let loose my spell, blurring the vision of one, and making it hard for him to fight. Hadrell took advantage to the full and when I was certain I could loose another, I sent sparks into the second, distracting him and shocking him enough for Hadrell to fit a few fine blows. And then it was over, leaving six bodies bleeding. I felt ill. So THIS is the glorious combat that so much is written of? This is what is supposed to strengthen me? Still, I suppose I must become used to this, I am certain there will be more of it. Next time I will be quicker, I will know what to do.

Hadrell checked the stable boy - miraculously he was still alive, I think Hadrell helped to heal him somewhat. The rest of us headed for the inn, Arleg was nowhere to be seen, we all thought the worst. Turibor, as we learned the elf was called, ran into the inn, as did Erethor. Too late though, the fire's hold was too great. We returned to the boy.

Arleg was alive, however. The rustling in the bushes betrayed him and though saddened at the loss of this wonderful inn, I was pleased to see him alive and unhurt.

We burnt the bodies, it seemed fitting they end in the horror they started. Arleg was given their items to help pay for the restoration, and offered to take the boy to a local healer. Arleg has always been good to me, I slipped him money I hoped would cover the cost for the boy's treatment. Maybe one day I shall return this way and sup ale from the new inn, I would like to think so.

Turibor wished to accompany us- he is to visit the Juggler's Hall to see a controversial new play. While it sounds intriguing, and I would dearly love to go there, I doubt we shall have the time. But he would travel a way with us. So the sweet chestnut mare carried the elf, while I was stuck behind the Rider. Admittedly it was pleasant not to worry about riding, and to be able to sit back and admire the passing scenery. I believe I could even have cast a spell or two were it needed.

We camped last night, Turibor offering to watch for us. He needed little rest and I knew he could be trusted, his eyes were honest. He provided a wonderful breakfast, and in truth, I wish he were travelling further with us, I enjoyed his singing. Except for the repetition.

We are to stop for lunch here, and then onwards to Edoras, again. Hadrell and Erethor have gone to fetch some items and speak to those who matter.

16th Ringare (cont)

Why did no one tell me I am this Dunnish? I have obviously Dunnish eyes, Dunnish hair and Dunnish features. No one could mistake me for anything but. No wonder Erethor speaks to me so, no wonder I am stared at by the golden haired people we pass and who pass us. I hate it here. I am sure I would be strung up if I weren't here, locked in my room. I shall use my medallion to change my hair in the morning, to be less conspicuous. I am glad the door has a lock, but I shall still be nervous.

We are staying tonight at the Sleeping Stallion, an inn Erethor chose, despite my knowing one of the others, I am certain he chose it to discomfort his Dunnish travelling companion. I shall try to sleep now. If there are no more entries be certain, dear journal, I have been murdered in my bed for the crime of my Dunnish bloodline.

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