Into the Land of Men

October 6, 2019

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A curiosity: Elrond has sent me east, to a stronghold of Men called Bree-land. He has instructed me to meet there with a man called Strider. I do not know if such a name is a common quirk among Men, but it makes me feel as if this is some sort of ruse on Elrond’s part. A noldo in Bree-land? A man named Strider? Whither does he stride, and why?

I am not to meet with the man for a few days yet, and so have been exploring the town to get a sense of it (with a hood to cover my ears). There are similarities to Elven settlements, but they are few. Bree-town is a chaotic jumble of life. The town has been destroyed by war and fire so often that one need only walk down the street to see architecture from four or five different eras. There is something charming about these half-timbered huts tucked into the bones of ruins that are nearly as old I am. In fact, the whole town seems to have one foot planted firmly in the past, and one stretching impatiently toward a future that I, of the Eldar, cannot begin to fathom.

I have genuinely enjoyed perusing the market stalls. Bree-land is within trading distance of The Shire and Lindon, of Evendim, Forochel, Thorin’s Hall, and Rivendell. Abundant curiosities pass through these colorful tents, many of them far more valuable than the people here realize. This morning, I glimpsed a ring suspiciously similar to my own, and am confident it was Eregion-forged. I contemplated purchasing it, but I wonder if it is not better for some legends to fade into obscurity.

I am not certain I have much else positive to say. Life’s very existence here is an assault on the senses, and though most of the people seem happy, I do not think I could endure it here for long. The roads are a dangerous bustle of carts and carriages, the gutters strewn with refuse. Vendors clamor to be heard over the clang of hammers, the barking of dogs, and the discordant tunes of buskers. And the smells… The smells, the smells!

I am trying to be adaptable. But oh, how I miss my bed of feathers.

 

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