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Moth's Journal

20th Ringare

Yet again, I find myself horrified at the actions of my people. For while I can understand hunger and desperation, although not having known it myself, I cannot and will not agree with six men attacking one and leaving him for dead, trapped under a cart. Thankfully my companions managed to right the cart (a task which I am certain did not press either of them to their extremes) and extract the poor fellow.

Again, I have underestimated the Dwarf - Hadrell possesses faith enough to mend broken legs. I would say he has enough to move mountains, but he is a dwarf, that is already second nature to him.

So we heard how Delnenn was set upon by these rogues and swiftly we planned to right the wrong as we rode towards the culprits. We had thought hard about how three of us could defeat six armoured men, and had come to the conclusion that Erethor could scout out the situation, Hadrell would wander in and declare his intention – he is an honourable being, and objected to not giving them a fighting chance – and I would prepare a spell well in advance.

Hah! If only that had been the case.

Without warning, Erethor flew at the rogues in a frenzy – I had not seen him so intent on eliminating an enemy before, and then all was made plain as Hadrell muttered that the rogues had killed and cooked one of the horses. Our original plans for dealing with these vermin had now flown away on the winds. Hadrell and I were left to fend for ourselves. Somehow I managed to let loose a bolt of energy that delayed one of the opponents and gave me time to prepare more magic.

This skirmish taught me of pain however, and fear. While Hadrell was solidly fighting his opponent, and Erethor was riding around the camp letting loose his arrows, I found myself attacked by a rogue. Attacked and hit, for his weapon connected very solidly with my right leg. For a moment I thought I might pass out, that he had broken it, but in a haze of pain and fright I managed to loose the magic into him at point blank, stunning him just long enough for me to get another blast of energy into him, except that his arm exploded into a bright burst of blood. At the time it didn’t occur to me that Erethor had shot him, but when I checked for signs of life later, the arrow embedded deeply told me the truth of it. It was fortunate that he took down my assailant when he did. I believe I may owe him my life, a truly disconcerting prospect.

In those few moments, though, when it was just me and the enemy, I felt so very alone, with no-one to watch over me, no-one to step in the way of the blows that I cannot take with the ease a warrior can. It came to me then, the horrors of battle, the loneliness and terror. I saw with clarity the true strength of the Dwarf and understood a little better the almost reckless actions of the Rider. Now I fear the untold dangers of this journey more than ever. A part of me wishes even that I could throw off my guise, and be the woman that I truly am. Surely it would be easier. I am not unattractive, that too is part of my inheritance. Would not a man think twice before harming a woman? And yet, when I think of the reasons I continued to keep this disguise, I must disagree. There are no benefits that I can see in revealing my identity to the world. I am lost in my situation. And still my fear that I will be found out prevented me from accepting the healing that both Hadrell and Erethor offered me afterwards. They both think me mad. Perhaps I am.

In Minas Tirith, in my little world of books and facts, of scrolls and spells, nothing could harm me, nothing threatened my physical existence in any way. In this larger world, I must adjust, I must think harder, otherwise I may as well give in. Already this is serving to strengthen me, despite my confusion. I am learning harshness and cruelty, that much is apparent from the way I treated our prisoners later, little caring that I was born in these lands as they were. I am seeing new ways of approaching problems. I am already beginning to learn what it is like to worm into the thoughts of someone, to extract information and put that information to use.

I fear that when next I look in my mirror, I will see a stranger looking back at me. I wonder if I shall hate her....

We captured three of the rogues - it would have been four had not one died of his wounds - and we took them to their camp, bound them to trees and passed the night there. Hadrell removed the horse from the fire where it was cooking. I believed it was for Erethor’s sake ‘til he ate of the spoils while Erethor went riding back to Delnenn, to help him with the cart. On their return it was decided we should take the rogues to Larrach Dunnain where we are to request justice for the men. Erethor seemed doubtful, as well he might, I would feel the same were I in his position. We shall see. Whatever the outcome, I will be unable to pass easily and quietly through my homeland.


It has not been a good day today.

I would sooner suffer riding on a saddle of broken blades than suffer that damnable cart again! Despite Hadrell’s fine efforts at driving it, the road was too uneven and the cart too shaky for both my liking and my stomach. Again I have been proven the weaker sex, and I fear I may have been too harsh on the captives because of it. We have made camp a fair few miles outside Larrach Dunnain, avoiding staying at an inn, for we fear there may be some trouble if the locals recognise the culprits. It also allows me a chance to regain my legs – I will refuse to ride on that cart tomorrow if it means my feeling that ill again.

So, home I head, to heavens knows what, in the company of a Rider of Rohan and a Dwarf, of the beardless variety, a cartful of Dunnish prisoners and probably some of my vomit, and Delnenn who had damn well better act as witness against them. Oh, how popular I am going to be! And, to add insult to injury, as I sit here and write this, I can hear the dulcet tones of Hadrell valiantly attempting to sing once more. What worse fates could befall me?! On second thoughts, I retract that statement, for Fate surely has a strange sense of humour.

merp merp