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
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
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
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
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.