A Grey and Dreary Place

September 7, 2019


My work in Ered Luin is finished, and none too soon. The Elves of Duillond and the dwarves of Gondamon walk a knife’s edge, a most precarious peace that threatens to topple in the face of recent Dourhand presence. Each is eager to blame the other for their misfortunes, imagined or otherwise.

The birds and beasts here have suffered for it. The dourhands have gouged a great wound in the mountain in their voracious hunt for coal. Even the trees seem to wilt in the crossfire. No one has given thought to how their actions might pollute the surrounding land, tarnishing it. But that has always been so–even, sometimes, among my kin.

The dwarf named Thrasi has been my one solace here. He keeps a cottage in the mountains, and a tamed lynx for companionship. Despite this remote life, he is amicable and generous, and has a plain mastery over the spoken word that compels me to listen to him when he is speaking, even if it is about something so mundane as thistle milk. He says he will be sorry to see me go. I, too, will mourn the loss of his company.

But go I shall. These snow-spotted hills and sooty-grey skies are not for me, and I will not miss them.

Tomorrow, I travel south to The Shire. I am eager to meet the halflings who live there, for I have heard such whimsy about them, and cannot separate fact from myth. But by all accounts they cook a marvelous meal, so that is something to pin my hopes upon.