Good Company in a Foul Place

October 24, 2019

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Strider at last sent his summons, though not exclusively to me. He called three others to meet with him, and asked us to travel together to complete his task. Though I am always glad for company,  it makes me worry about the difficulty of what lies ahead.

There is another of Strider’s kin, a man named Tambaros, who says little but acts decisively. We are joined by Avivah, a proud dwarf with a blunt tongue but an appealing dry humor.

The third of my companions is more of a puzzle. He introduced himself as Harrow, a Man of Archet, but he must know that I can plainly see him for what he is: another of the Noldor. I do not know why he plays at such a ruse. It is unlike any natural instinct of our people. I do not know if Avivah and Tambaros recognize this deception, so I will keep silent, though it unsettles me most deeply.

Our errand took us across Bree-land, during which time we learned that the Nine Riders have infiltrated the region. I did not expect to encounter the Witch-king again so soon after waking, but encounter him we did, in the cold depths of an ancient tomb in the forgotten Barrow-downs. I dug deep for my courage, and challenged him, but he fled from me, leaving behind his minions to do battle with us instead.

I do not know what would have become of us if not for the intervention of Iarwain Ben-Adar, who dwells in the woods near there. He took us to his forest home, where we dined on berries, creme, and honey-cakes. It was a welcome salve against the seeping dread of the barrows.

But it cannot make me forget what we have learned. The new is so dreadful that it turns my veins to ice. I cannot write it yet, for fear I might somehow make it more real.

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