Story Pycella's Diary

Discussion in 'Stories & Tales' started by Pycella, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. Pycella Member

    *First entry in a diary with girly, pink covers*

    ((June 19th, 2015))

    Dear Diary,

    All has gone pretty well since I moved to Southfarthing into my very own house located in a village called Elderglen. Ma still keeps sending me stuff, mainly pies and biscuits, so that I wouldn't forget to eat something once in a while. Like that would ever happen! I have tried to find some furniture for my dear hobbit hole, so that it wouldn't be the least homely house in the known world.

    Nevertheless, my dear old ma doesn't have the money to pay the upkeep of my hobbit hole, so I need to earn some money. I have spent much time plucking taters on farmsteads and helped people out in the Shire. I have sold some of my goods at the Michel Delving auction hall. Lumber sells well, so I have been wandering around and looked for some wood. Some odd fellow told me that there would be plenty of wood in the forest near Buckland, so I went there and... Good grief that place was nasty!


    I found some branches alright, but them wolves and bats and angry bears did not welcome me to their forest, so I needed to stay sharp and move around stealthily. At some point, a huge black bear spotted me as I was plucking some nice mushrooms. Luckily I had my knives with me and survived the little conflict. And the bear... Well, I just got him stuffed by the Inn League taxidermist (a talented fellow at the Bird and Baby inn). Now that bear is sitting comfortably in my hobbit hole with a nice Inn League hat on his head and keeping me company in the evenings. I named him Stinky, as he smells a bit odd. I put some flowers around him to cover the odor a bit.


    The bear wasn't my only discovery during this forest trip. As I was trying to get a wagon to deliver the bear corpse from Buckland to the taxidermist (it was way too heavy for me to carry!), and negotiated about the price, a Bounder came walking up to me. He noticed my forester's axe hanging from my backpack. The axe was crafted by my father who had gone missing as I was a wee hobbit lass. The axe had a lily-of-the-valley carving on it. The Bounder told me he had seen a similar axe before. I immediately got goose bumps: It had to be my father's axe which had the very same carving on it! I asked the Bounder who had been the owner of the similar axe. Bounder answered: "I do not know his name, and he was wearing a hood, so I couldn't see his face. But a hobbit he was, certainly. He was headed for the Old Forest, but I do not know why. Maybe because of them mushrooms..." Then the Bounder excused himself and headed for the grocer.

    I felt a bit controversial about this information. I was happy to hear something about my missing father, but the fact that he had went to the nasty forest I just had the pleasure to visit myself... The thought that I should look for my father and his traces in that gloomy place makes me shiver! I really need to sharpen my knives in advance, just to be sure that I won't end up being stuffed in some forest bear's own house with a silly hat!

    Well that's all for now, dear diary.

    PS. Well, the bear wasn't actually killed by me, it met its end rather by misadventure. As the bear attacked me, I threw all those mushrooms on the ground and started running. The bear came after me, but it stepped on the slimy mushrooms and slipped. Unfortunately the poor bear hit his head on a huge nearby rock, and hence the bear's days were over. So I really cannot take any credit of killing it...
    Primrrose, Lully, Neti and 5 others like this.
  2. Pycella Member

    *added some drawings to the entry*
  3. Lina Chief

    This looks grand, miss Pycella! I hope yer keep them entries coming!
  4. Pycella Member

    Thank you, Miss Lina! *smiles*
  5. Neti Member

    Really enjoyed your first entry, Miss Pycella!
  6. Pycella Member

    Thank you, Miss Neti! I enjoy reading your journal as well!
  7. Neti Member

    Thanks! I should build my writing habit again, maybe this Winter... *smiles*
  8. Pycella Member

    Dear Diary,

    Finally I had the courage to venture into the dark Old Forest and seek traces of my pa there. One early morning, ere the break of dawn, I took my bagpack and my axe and stepped onto the road, clutching a safety biscuit in my hand. I bade farewell to my two ponies, Roseanne and Creamy, who did not pay much attention to my departure; they were more interested in the flowers on my neighbor’s yard. I went on, passed the Southfarthing gate, past Tuckborough, past the Bywater fields. The safety biscuit was already gone into my belly as I reached Frogmorton. When I finally crossed the Brandywine Bridge, I stopped for a moment and looked back. The Shire was waking up without any haste into another merry sunny day. I saw fishermen climbing down to the river bank, I saw farmers inspecting their crops, probably stomping some shrewholes, and I saw the last customers of the Golden Perch return to their homes. I have never loved the sight more. I tried to treasure it all in my mind, for a gloomy path was ahead of me, without a lovely sight to be seen.

    Arriving in Buckland, I ate a rich breakfast at a farmhouse. I thought that it would be hard to keep up with the hobbit meal schedule in the forest, so I tried to fill my tummy as full as I could beforehand. When I had finally managed to wolf down a raspberry pie, crispy bacons, eggs and a mushroom salad, I made my way slowly towards the Old Forest gate. I stopped for a moment by the gate and looked grimly into the darkness that waited on the other side. It felt like the moment before you jump into dark and cold water (except that I have never done a thing like that). It was too late to turn around now. ‘My pa went in, and so will I,’ I encouraged myself. ‘We are made from the same wood, he and me. I can do this.’ I took a few steps, and there I was, swallowed by the dark, gloomy forest.


    It took some time for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. The forest wasn’t pitch dark – there was this strange, blueish gloom all around me, like some old magic that oozed from the trees themselves into the air. There was an unnatural silence that seemed to swallow all sound. The only thing I heard was my own breathing – or at least I hoped it was my own breathing! The paths were trickier than the Hedge maze near Bree Town. Here there were no unruly tweens running around, just bats, wolves and even bears. I did my best to avoid them. As an Overhill lass, I was used to move about stealthily in the forest, without being seen by any creature. But here I was even more careful: even the trees seemed to have eyes, and if I wasn’t mistaken, I would say that they moved.
    Larimara, Lully, Mundugus and 3 others like this.
  9. Pycella Member

    (the entry continues)

    I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, and where. I didn’t have a clue why my pa had come to the forest in the first place, but I bet it wasn’t for a nice picnic. He was in the habit of making campfires and sleeping in a hammock during his lumber trips, so I tried to keep an eye for those. I ventured deeper and deeper, into the very heart of the woods, trying to chase the rising fear from my mind.


    After a while the path seemed a bit different than before. It was more narrow and overgrown, almost invisible. The trees were covered in pale threads here and there. Suddenly I realized that I had arrived at a relatively large clearing inside the forest. I hid myself inside a bush and looked at the place more carefully. By now I realized that the pale threads were actually cobwebs. The edges of the clearing were covered in them. At the other side of the clearing there were huge cocoons in a neat row. And then I saw them: huge, gleaming red eyes, moving about. I shivered in my bush. A large black spider was standing near the cocoons. Smaller ones were gathered around it. It seemed that they were eating something, there was such a fuss going on. I thought that it would be no use to take part into this feast as I would likely enter it as a dish and not a guest. But before I had managed to turn my toetips towards the path I had come from, I saw a spider entering the clearing from the path. Probably they were all gathering for a meal, and probably more were coming from the same path. I couldn’t hide from them on that narrow path. ‘I have to find another way out,’ I thought.

    Heart bumping, I looked around. The clearing was surrounded by thick wall of trees and undergrowth, all covered with sticky looking webs. My spirits sunk – I seemed to be trapped. But then, I saw something strange in the undergrowth nearby. By the tree wall, there was a strange bundle of branches. Those branches were newly fallen – they had green leaves on them. Maybe it would provide a better hiding place, I thought, and so I sneaked carefully to the branches and jumped behind them. And then I saw it.

    Someone had cut a little hole into the thick undergrowth that surrounded the clearing. It was just the size of a hobbit to crawl through. I crawled inside without hesitation, hoping for the best. I came to a little room – or that’s how I would call it. It was a tiny space surrounded by trees, probably the size of my own bedroom. And there was daylight, pouring down from somewhere high up. I could smell the fresh air even from the bottom of the forest. But it wasn’t the only thing to cheer me up. Before me, on the ground, there were the remains of an old campfire. This was indeed a room, and someone had lived in it. ‘I must have been pa!’ I thought. I could have cried from happiness, but I didn’t dare. I peered up towards the canopy and got an idea. I started climbing. The air had never felt more fresh nor the sunlight brighter. When I reached the top, my eyes where blinded by the daylight, but it didn’t matter. I heard the birds chatter and sing, I felt a lovely breeze on my face. I opened my eyes slowly and looked at the trees beneath me. I saw that I was actually quite near the forest edge. I could see green hills before me, and a river glittered somewhere in the distance. I was relieved. ‘Maybe I can get out of here alive,’ I thought. But first, I needed to find out something important.

    When I started to climb down the tree, I saw something on the trunk. Something had cut a deep line into the bark, probably a rope. Probably a rope of a hammock! I saw a similar mark on another tree nearby. Someone had hung a hammock up here, away from the spiders and the darkness. It had to be a hobbit, a hobbit that liked hammocks! I was excited. I had to search the ground below for more clues, so I continued to climb down. This time, the darkness didn’t seem that bad. When I was back at the bottom, I dug my fingers into the leaves, trying to find something else. Everything seemed to be gone, along with the traveller himself. He had left a while ago. The campfire was old. Suddenly I saw a little tunnel at the other side of the little room. It was pretty small, but still enough big for a hobbit. The edges were cut rather hastily. The hobbit had to leave this place in a hurry, but he had left it, nevertheless! But then, just when I was about to crawl into that tunnel, I felt something hard beneath my knee, under the fallen leaves. I picked it up and shook the leaves off. It was a book with leather covers. On the cover, there was a carving of a lily, my pa’s favorite flower. The discovery made my hairs stand up in my neck as well as on my toes. This was my pa’s journal! I opened it and tried to read it, but it was too dark. I needed more light. I put the journal into my pocket and decided to climb up again, where there was more light for reading. But then I felt a slimy grasp on my left foot.

    I looked back and I saw a bundle of thick, pale webs around my ankle. A little spider had seen me from the clearing through the hole in the wall, but the hole was too small for it to enter, so it had tried to draw me with its webs. It looked at me from the other side with its soulless, hungry eyes and began to pull me towards its jaws. I shook my leg and tried to get rid of the web, but it was too sticky and tight. The spider pulled me faster towards it. It was quite strong for a little spider. Only then I remember the axe I had strapped to my bagpack. I grapped it and cut the webs with it. But when the spider saw that I was escaping, it went furious. It pushed itself against the little hole with all its strength and somehow, it managed to get through. I screamed in horror and crawled away from the spider, towards the exit tunnel on the other side of the room. But the spider was faster and it jumped over me. I flung my axe towards it and felt how something cold and slimy fall on my face. At the same time, I felt an awful pain in my leg. I heard a scream that was not mine, it was an unnatural sound, hard to describe. I remember crawling into the little tunnel, hoping it would lead me to safety.

    I stopped crawling only when I could feel the first rays of sunlight on my skin. I looked up andrealized that I was lying somewhere near the forest edge. A squirrel peered at me from a nearby tree, a puzzled look on its face. I tried to stand up, but the pain in my leg was too bad and I couldn’t take one single step with it. There was a black, swollen spot on my leg. The spider had stung me. I needed help, but I was still in the middle of nowhere. I tried to crawl away from the forest, but it was no use. The pain seemed to spread from the leg with every movement I took. I fell on the soft grass and looked at the blue skies above. It seemed to get a bit darker. I cried help a few times, or at least tried. My head started to become dizzy. I tried to remember the fireworks above the Green Dragon on Friday night, I thought how soft the rug on my kitchen floor felt like. I wanted to taste the blueberry muffins my ma made every Sunday morning. Licking the dough was always the best part in any baking. ‘I shouldn’t give up now, I have to fight to enjoy all these things once again,’ I thought.

    I cried out one last time, and then I fell into the darkness. The last thing I remember was a kind, pale face of a lass, looking down at me with a friendly smile. When I woke up, the face was gone, but so was the darkness – and I knew I was safe.

    I will write more later, dear diary. I am still a bit weary of this all. I still need to study pa’s journal a bit more. It seems that there were so many things I didn’t know about him. But I will probably get to that later on.
    Rubellita, Larimara, Lully and 7 others like this.
  10. Potty Member

    That's quite the adventure yer had Miss Pycella, and a pleasure ter read!


    I do have ter admit at first I stopped readin' the first time yer mentioned spider though!

    This would also be a wonderful tale ter listen to at one of them tale nights, or in the Green Dragon!
  11. Pycella Member

    Oh, thank you, Master Potty!

    *blushes* I guess this would be a nice story to tell the others on tale nights, but I fear that the story would eventually reach my ma's ears... I don't know if I would ever survive the scolding she would give me!

    But now that you mentioned it, I could tell another story in the Green Dragon. It is not so adventurous though, but it is a lovely story nevertheless, one that my dear pa told me as I was a wee lassie.
    Potty likes this.
  12. Pycella Member

    Dear Diary,

    I have recovered quite well from my Old Forest journey here in Staddle. When I had passed out on the border of the forest, a kind hunter man found me there. He had heard me crying for help with his sharp ears. I was a lucky girl, real lucky! If he hadn't been there and ridden me on his horse to a healer, I would have probably perished because of the spider's poison that spread in my leg. The hunter brought me to an old (or I'd rather say ancient) hobbit widow in Staddle. She was known for her remedies and healing skills, and she drove the poison out of my body and treated me the best she could. Alas, I was saved.

    When I woke up in the widow's burrow in Staddle, I found my pa's leather-covered journal next to me on a bedside table. Although I was a bit weary, I couldn't fight the desire to learn more about my pa and his thoughts. It turned out that I had known quite little about him. He had taken the journal with him as he had went to his lumber trips. It seemed that the journal was his closest companion to which he could reveal all his deepest wishes and feelings. I was actually pretty painful, reading how lonely and unhappy he had felt. He grumbled a lot about my mother – it seemed that at some point, the marriage had lost its magic. When he was at home with us, mother just complained to him about things – how dull Overhill was as a place, how we should move to Michel Delving, how lonely his daughter was without any friends in the woods... No wonder my pa liked to travel much and keep away from the nagging. He had poured his thoughts and hurt feelings into the journal.


    Then something changed everything. On one of his travels, my pa decided to sleep under a rowan tree. They say that rowan trees have magical properities, and pa had a most magical dream that night. He dreamed he was wondering in a golden wood. The trees were tall as giants, but more gentle. The air was filled with rich fragrances, cinnamon, ginger and mint. And sweet music. Someone was singing nearby. My pa walked towards the sound, enchanted by the beautiful melody. Then he saw her – a young blonde maiden, dressed in a white gown, as dancing in the leaves that had fallen from the trees. The leaves danced with her in the air and it looked as if she was dancing in a golden stream. At the same time, she was singing the most beautiful song my pa had ever heard:

    Come and hear my call
    I summon you all
    To the Golden Wood
    Where all is good

    Your dreams come true
    And old turns new
    In the Golden Wood
    We'll brighten up your mood

    All gaps are filled
    All wounds are healed
    In the Golden Wood
    You'll be understood

    Then she lifted her face and looked at my pa. She was the most beautiful creature my pa had ever seen. She had a bright blonde hair flowing over her shoulders, she had clear blue eyes and the sweetest smile. And when she saw my pa, she smiled in recognition. And then, the dream ended.


    My pa wrote a lot about this dream into his journal. It seemed that he came to sleep under the same rowan tree many times, and every time he saw the same dream. He had fallen in love with a maiden of the golden wood. But at some point, the dream changed. He saw the same maiden, but her face was a bit different – it had a long scar running through it, and the smile on her face became a bitter one. Her beautiful eyes were filled with tears. She needed help, my pa thought. And so he decided to seek this golden wood, this maiden that was suffering there. He thought it was a message, a cry for help. And alas he departed, leaving us without a clue where he had went.
    The last entry he had made into the journal was written in the Old Forest:

    I begin to realise that I may have made a huge mistake. I know this is a message meant for me, but how on earth I can help this maiden of the Golden Wood? According to my maps that forest lies far away, beyond the mountains. Already the Old Forest seems to be quite a challenge for an old hobbit lad like me. I feel so sorry for my dear daughter, I hope she won't hate me because I left her. I just hope I haven't done all this in vain and that eventually I will find the maiden and help her. And I hope my daughter will understand my decision. Everything in this world has a reason, and this is the reason why I am here. This was meant to be.

    I was puzzled by all this. A golden wood? I had heard of such woods, but they were only gammer's tales. But my father had maps and knew a place like that. Real or not, he had a destination. If I wanted to see him again, I would have to travel to the same place myself. After the Old Forest trip it sounded quite impossible, but this time, I wouldn't have to travel alone. I had friends who could help me and cover me, if needed. A hope woke inside of me.

    I sat one night with the old widow who had treated my wounds. She seemed to possess a wisdom of many things, not just of remedies and dozens of pie recipes. She was silent and didn't talk much, but she sang much and sometimes was lost in her thoughts, peering into distance. One late evening we sat together on her porch, drinking some camomile tea. Finally, I asked her: 'Have you ever heard of the Golden Wood? Does such a place exist?' She glanced at me and looked at my leg the spider had stung. 'I suppose you should be concerned about other things than fairy tales,' she answered. 'I managed to save you with my skills, but these forest spiders are tricky. It is hard to remove all that poison they spit into your veins.' I was worried. 'Do you mean that I still have poison in me? Could it still kill me?' The widow looked away. 'The poison of the black forest spiders never kill anything, but the poison can get you killed, although not directly. And it only works in dark places, like in that forest.' I looked confused, and the widow went on: 'The poison sucks all joy of life out of you. It will make you see only the bad things in life, the darkness without any light. Eventually you will see no reason to live anymore, and...' She stopped, unable to continue. I saw tears fill her eyes as she turned away from me. 'So, if you ever go into a dark place, it will grow in you, and it will get you. Remember that.' And she walked away, leaving her cup of cold tea on the porch, and stood in the yard, the sound of crickets surrounding her. I didn't have to ask. I knew that she had lost his husband to the spiders, or the darkness. I had heard that story. I tried to change the subject.

    'I hear you are from the Shire, ma'am. Would you like to return there?' I saw the widow shake her head slowly, still standing with her back towards me. 'Listen to me, child. If you go enough far, you start to lose yourself. You see too much. You find new homes, new lovers, new friends. They all take a piece of you, and there is no way going back. It wouldn't be the same for me anymore, not the Shire I once knew. Things change when you travel. This is my advice: do not go away from your home, or you will lose it all. The Shire is a good place, and it should be treasured, more that the people there realize.' Then she started to hum a melody and didn't say another word to me. I looked at her and the starts above, trying to understand it all.

    Now I am sitting in a wagon which is about to travel to the Shire. I am already excited to return back and see all my friends again, my ponies, ma and well, all of it. Although I understand what the widow said to me, I do not agree with her wholly. Everything changes, when you grow older. There are always things you have to depart from and things that won't ever be the same again, but there will be new and nice things, all precious and worth to experience. I won't be afraid – I will go, seek the Golden Wood and find some answers. If I am lucky, I will meet my pa once again. Like my pa wrote, there is a reason for everything, and I found his journal for a reason, I am sure of it.

    But now it is time to rest and gather some strength. Avoiding dark places won't be a problem in the Shire, so do not be afraid, dear diary. I won't visit my pie cellars that often. And if I feel bad, you'll be the first one I will tell about it. Even the stars shine bright and full of joy in the dark night sky, because they are not alone.
    Rubellita, Larimara, Lina and 4 others like this.
  13. Lully Member

    Grand writin about yer ventures, miss Pycella! *cheers*
  14. Pycella Member

    ((Written on 30th August 2015))

    Dear Diary,

    Sorry that I haven't written anything on your pages in the last two weeks. I have been too busy and excited due to this big long journey which is getting nearer day by day... Oh, haven't I told about it yet? The thing is, some of us hobbits are preparing a historical trip to a hobbit village outside the Shire, in some land called Everwait... or was it Ende-what. Well, according to the olde history books and Gammer's tales, we hobbits have come from some faraway land to the Shire a long long time ago. I have always been a bit lazy when it comes to history lessons, so I don't actually have a clue how these other hobbitses settled in Everwait; mayhaps they just got lost on the way to the Shire or somet. Well, I will probably get an answer to this during the historical journey. However, this won't be an easy one-day picnic trip. The more experienced travellers told me that the journey will take several weeks and that there may be some hardships ahead, whatever they are. So I think it wouldn't be wise to tell about this to me ma... She is already quite fussed about this Bingo Boffin and his adventurous intentions. She would probably turn into a fierce autumn storm if she heard that I am going to travel somewhere out of reach of her pie deliveries. But with the harvest time beginning, it'll be easy to come up with an alibi. I will probably tell her I am helping some farmers in Staddle or somet.

    And don't you worry about me, dear diary. Many experienced, broad-waisted travellers and shrew-stompers are going to take part in this journey as well, so I should be safe with them by my side. Besides, my sneaking skills are also quite helpful – even the sharp-eyed Lobelia hasn't spotted me when I have borrowed some taters from her gardens! However, I have been practicing my bashing skills somewhat, just in case I need them on the road. I acquired a practical club from Miss Rubysue, a talented woodworker who has had quite much bashing experience during her travels. The club is quite different from those pestles they are selling at the Michel Delving Vendor Hall. Those are only sufficient for bashing insects and stuff, but with Miss Rubysue's club is good also against bigger opponents, such as the Rushock Bog slugs! I visited the bog just recently and exterminated a good lot of its slugs, toads and gnats.That's not much, but it's good for starters, I guess. Besides, the bog is probably the grimmest and slimiest place in the whole Shire, so it was good mental preparation for the journey as well. I don't understand how the folks of Needlehole can bear all that wetness and the gloomy atmosphere that surrounds the bog. They have also put an ugly statue on the bog, heaven knows why.


    The journey also provides a good chance to find out more about my pa. According to his journal, he has departed for the Golden Forest to help this lady he saw in his dream. The Tooks have a comprehensive collection of books and maps in the Great Smials, so I have been visiting their library quite a many times recently. I had to bribe the librarian with lots of crispy bacons and blueberry muffins to gain access to the the place, but it was worth the sacrifice! Once I got inside, I made copies of the maps and writings that seemed important for my purposes. It seems that this Golden Forest is called Lothlórien, an ancient and fair dwelling of ellufs beyond the Misty Mountains. Many grand songs and poems have been written about it. Although it is hard to imagine a place lovelier than the Shire, that elluf forest could come close! I made a map of the place and put it up on my wall.


    Well, I think that is all for now. Now I have to go and see if Lobelia's carrots are ripe enough... See you!
    Potty, Rubellita, Rubysue and 4 others like this.
  15. Pycella Member

    Dear Diary,

    There is something I need to tell you before I depart for the Grand Journey. Something has happened to me just recently, a shattering experience.

    I figured out I would need a new axe for the Grand Journey, and with the Bard's Day coming an' all, I forgot to purchase one at the Michel Delving Market. Too much excitement this week! Well, I thought I could purchase a good axe from them bearded fellows living in the west of the of the Shire, the dwarves. They have a dwelling there, near the mountains. So I rented a ride to Thorin's Hole, or whatever that place's called. It's in Ered Luin, a perfect place for wandering, picking berries and stuff. I made a drawing of the place:


    When I finally arrived at Thorin's Hole, I was pretty amazed. It was nothing like the holes and burrows we have in the Shire. The roof was so high, they can probably launch fireworks inside the place! But yes, they sold many things there, like beer, goats, armour, weaponry, curiosities, paintings, and of course axes. I bought me one of good quality.

    After spending most of my money on the precious axe, I thought I could look more closely at the place itself. After some wandering I ended up at the gates of Thorin's Hole Homesteads. Having still some money in my pocket, I thought I could purchase one of the music boxes they sell at the Homesteads. I went into this enormous hole where many of them bearded ones have their homes. A bit chilly for my taste, but with those thick beards, I reckon the dwarves won't catch cold so easily.

    As I descended towards the center of the homesteads, I felt strange pressure growing in my chest. First I thought it was nothing, just exhaustion caused by the little trip itself. I got to the vendor and lightened my coin purse by purchasing the stuff I liked – a music box and some paintings. When I was about to return to the gates, it happened. Grey mist covered my sight, and the pressing feeling grew unbearable in my chest. I fell onto the ground, and all the stuff I purchased spilt out of my bagpack. The music box started playing its music, but I couldn't hear it. All I could hear was a grim, hissing voice speaking to me, saying: "It's all in vain. Don't you try to seek your father. There is no purpose. Let it go."

    The voice filled my mind and I felt strong pain in my leg, the one the black spider had stuck. I felt the cold ground press against my chin, and it seemed that all the life had vanished out of the world. The world was without any colour. "It is too hard to rise up", I thought. "I can't do this, I cannot survive the journey. What was I thinking? I am a mere hobbit, nothing more. I can contribute to nothing."

    I felt a sturdy grip on my shoulder and heard a dwarven voice: "You're alright, Miss?" I tried to look up, but it was too hard. But the friendly grip seemed to provide some strength. It reminded me of something: a merry song beside the fire, jolly dancing in a crowded inn, Ma's warm hug. "No! There's a purpose in this life", I thought and felt my spirits rise. Slowly, I managed to rise my head up from the ground. "Dear Master Dwarf," I whispered, "could you please walk me out of here? I need some air."

    And may all the good dwarves of Thorin's Hole be blessed with long beards! The dwarf fetched his goat and rode me out of the place, quick as lightning! When I was outside, I immediately felt better. No voices inside my head, no pressing feeling in my chest. The kind Master Dwarf guided me to the stables where I could purchase a quick ride home to the Shire.

    Whatever the incident was, it probably had something to do with black spider's poison that is still inside of me. The homesteads were probably too dark a place for me, so the poison took over and darkened my mind and sank my spirits. I have to keep this in mind when I depart for the journey.

    However, this won't keep me from taking part in the Grand Journey. If I avoid dark places and stay with friends, I should be safe. I don't know what the voice inside my head was, but as long as it has no power over me, I am good. And it has no power as long as my friends are about. They remind me of the things that are worth fighting for.

    So don't you be afraid, my dear diary! I am in safe company.

    Until our next encounter,
    Lully, Lina, Rubellita and 1 other person like this.
  16. Pycella Member

    Dear Diary,

    This one morning, I was napping in my hammock, without any pressing chores to worry about. Miss Almi was visiting me and baking something in the kitchens. The birds were singing and the air was fresh. I had just finished tending the veggie garden in my backyard and deserved a little break. I was about to fall asleep when a faint but distinct scream pierced the morning air...

    "Aaargh, those little rascals! I will squash you fer this!" It was Miss Almi's voice, coming from the pie cellars.
    Startled, I fell straight down from my hammock and landed on a pile of fertilizer that had been left over from the gardening. "This better be something of grand importance," I muttered as I strode towards the cellars, covered in stinky dung. I found Miss Almi having a tantrum in the cellar where all the berries were kept. Immediately, I saw what had made her scream aloud.

    ScreenShot00434.jpg Napping Pycella, soon to be covered in dung.

    There was a huge hole in one of the barrels in which the blueberries were kept. The berries had spread all over the mouldy floor.

    "This is outrageous!" Miss Almi shouted. "All gone wasted! These blueberries ain't good fer any pie baking anymore! Our pie shop would end up with a reputation far worse than that Miss Hornblower got herself some time ago if we use these... "

    "Why is there a hole in that barrel?" I wondered.
    "Oh, ain't that clear?" Miss Almi spat. "It's the cellar rats, can't yer see those pawprints all over the floor?" Indeed, the floor was covered in some tiny, blueberry-colored pawprints.

    "This is a problem we have to deal with immediately", Miss Almi continued, steam coming out of her pointed ears. "Yer better go and search fer the best blueberry spots in the world because we have just gotten a large order from the Mayor Whitfoot himself! Now we don't wanna disappoint that hungry feller. You go and start now! That means no blueberry pie fer yer either if we don't solve this now. And if yer find a cat, bring it home too! And what is that dung on yer clothes? Yer need a bath first!"

    I nodded submittingly and sweeped outside as fast I could, trying to avoid more upcoming commands from my former nanny.

    So that's why, dear diary, I am now sitting in a waggon with my backpack and axe, heading for the forest which – according to my travel guide book – should have the best blueberry spots in the whole Middle Earth. No, that is not the Golden Wood my pa headed for, but another Elluf forest, a bit similar. For some reason, they have named that place "Trollsjaws". Wonder why's that?

    Oh well, we have now arrived at the forest border. I better light a campfire and rest for a while before I start looking for those precious blueberries. And aye, I think this a good opportunity to search for signs of my lost pa. Travelling towards the Golden Wood, he might have passed through these Trollsjaws. Maybe the folks here have seen him!
    But now, I have to stop briefly. Just wait, dear diary, more is to follow soon!


    Early arrival in Trollsjaws. Berries, here I come!

    Yours, Pycella
    Tibba, Rubellita, Lully and 3 others like this.
  17. Pycella Member

    Hullo dear Diary!

    I am back home now, with lots of berries, a new friend and an item that means a lot to me! But first, I need to tell you how my berry trip in Trollsjaws went.

    They say those woods should be swarming with trolls and giants and whatever, but surely that is only a tale told by people who have eaten the wrong kind of mushrooms. However, these folks seem to be quite fascinated about them trolls: there are even some statues of them in the woods! Those statues seem to be a bit forgotten though, covered in bird poo and all that.


    Apart from the ugly statues, those woods are beautiful! During the berry plucking, I had to stop every now and then just to marvel at the wonderful landscapes. I could hear a faint sound of music in the air, even though there were no inhabitants or musicians hanging around. Truly magical!

    One late evening then, as the sun had set and darkness crept over the valleys, I went looking for a good spot to spend the night. Then, I stumbled over something. When I looked closer, I saw the remains of a very old campsite. ”This will do”, I thought and started to gather timber. Soon I was lying on my back next to my little campfire, gazing at the stars above. I fell asleep.

    Suddenly, I could hear faint moaning through my dreams. I opened my eyes and jumped up. For a second, I thought of the trolls and all of the other creatures old Gammer had told. But soon I realized, it wasn't the trolls. It was a sound I had heard in the Shire too: it was the howling of wolves! But there were other voices too... and it sounded like barking!

    What would a reasonable hobbit lass do in a situation like that? Yes, she would surely run away as fast as hobbits eat their second breakfast. But me, no way. I had to take a look. So I approached the noise as quietly as I could. Finally, I reached a glade where could see a dark, howling creature in the moonlight. It was a wolf, a bit ragged looking I must say. It was growling at a smaller creature... A poor little fox! Behind the fox, there was a big rock with a hole in it. And next to the hole, there was something that looked like a dead rabbit. It seemed that the fox was defending its dinner! And the wolf was howling and calling for its pack... I had to do something fast, else the poor fox would surely end up as dinner itself!

    I crept towards the hole, trying to come up with a plan. I had left my club by the campfire, so I had no weapons. I put my hand into my pocket, and pulled out a little bunch of juicy blueberries I had put there earlier... I got an idea! Quickly, I climbed up the big rock behind the fox. I rubbed the blueberries on my face, grabbed a few branches and stood up on the rock, screaming as loudly and horribly as I could.

    So, there I stood. Spiky arms, blue face, gleaming eyes and squeaking screams... I probably looked like a little goblin pig. Well, I sure captured the wolf's attention! It went quiet and backed up a little. The fox saw its chance. It grabbed the rabbit and ran away. The wolf shook its head and growled as it saw what had happened. It dashed after the fox, looking annoyed. I jumped down from the rock and landed in front of the hole. I was about to follow the fox, but then I heard faint sound from the hole... I stretched my arm into it, feeling something clothlike. I pulled it out. It was a pointy, weathered hat! And inside, there was a little fox pup. The other fox must have been its mother, I realized. The pup peered at me with its cute eyes and sneezed at my face. The poor fellow seemed to have caught a cold.

    Then I heard footsteps, lots of them. Or rather, them were paw steps... And there I was, surrounded by a hungry wolf pack!

    That would have probably been the end of my merry berry plucking days if Missus Luck hadn't stopped by. Well, actually, it was the menace of the Shire who was on a night walk, howling a song as he went.

    There was a hobbit, brave and bold,
    and Bingo was his name-o...

    Grand poesy or not, the wolves didn't seem to like it. For them, it must have sounded like some kind of unholy beast approaching, and so they ran away from the glade. Me and the sneezing pup were saved!

    Soon after the wolves were gone, Bingo Boffin stepped out from the shadows into the moonlight. He looked as cute as ever, healthy, happy, worriless... Oh, and how did I look like? My face was blue and covered in goo. The amount of embarrassment could have killed me.

    But I made it back home, finally, with the berries I meant to gather. Bingo didn't want to follow back home with me though, but Milkbeard did... Oh, the fox pup I mean! He was way too little to be left behind. He is no cat, but he sure seems a good guardian for the berry pies! Those rats won't dare to go near the pie cellars anymore when Milkbeard is sniffing around. He seems to be pretty bold too. He will also be a grand companion for adventu... for berry plucking trips I mean!

    And do you remember the hat I found? Milkbeard liked to sleep in it, so I took it with me too. As I showed the berries and Milkbeard to Miss Almi, she noticed the hat too.

    ”Oh, where did yer find that old ragged hat? I though your father had burned it long ago. It looks even worse now.”

    Then I saw it too: this was indeed the old hat of my pa! He had taken it with him and left it behind when he had crossed those troll woods. So he had gotten there alive... Where could he be now? Well, from now on, I will treasure that hat, no matter what Miss Almi thinks of it.

    That's all for now,

    P.S. Oh and about that Bingo... I think I might avoid his company for some time. A helpless lad like that doesn't need a wife, but a mother or some kind of a ward, a private bounder maybe... I am sure there are lads out there for me who don't fall into every earth hole on their route!
    Mermund, Neti, Rubysue and 4 others like this.
  18. Pycella Member

    Dear Diary,

    It has been a while since I wrote my last entry. The pie selling business has kept me busy, and life has been so uneventful, so there hasn't been much to write about. But now, something peculiar happened, something that is related to the search for my father who has gone missing.

    It all started on a peaceful evening at home, at my pie shop in Songburrow. My devoted pie baker Miss Almi was inside, hunched over a table, going through various pie orders and also some pie tax claims I accidentally had caused. My former nanny being busy with the paperwork, I had a good chance to escape into the garden and sniff the fresh evening air. Sitting at the garden table, I heard footsteps from the road below. It was my dear friend Mermund... oh, I think I haven't written anything about him yet! He has been helping me out on my travels, especially the ones that require some mighty skewer wielding. Mermund also agreed to help me in the search for my father in them faraway lands. And I can certainly use good company on those journeys!

    As it happened, both me and Mermund felt a bit adventurous during that night, so we decided to fetch our ponies from Simbo's flower garden and race through the fields all the way to the edges of the Misty Mountains, the land of Eregion, where some pointy-eared teaholics have picnics in old ruins. It is a beautiful land in my opinion, even though there are some nasty creatures creeping about too.

    ScreenShot00537.jpg Also the trees seem to creep around and end up in weird places.

    We took our time in those lands – peeked into strange caves, climbed ridges and sat on hilltops, singing and playing songs with our favourite instruments. At the same time, we searched for clues to my father's movements. Every deserted campfire site made my heart beat faster, but each time, we couldn't find any signs of my father. Still, I had a feeling that he had been there before us. The Golden Wood my father had dreamt about lied beyond the nearby Misty Mountains, and the entrance through those mountains was quite near too. The thought of going through them, through the old dwarven realm called Moria, made me shiver.

    After a day of searching and strolling around, Mermund and I sought a place to rest and found a teaholic's tent and campsite. I crawled into the tent and fell asleep almost immediately on the bed the elf lady had probably prepared for herself. I plunged into a dream that took me years back to my childhood home, the Overhill and Bindbole Woods...

    A "master Borrower" borrowing an elluf bed.

    In the dream, I was sitting in my father's lap, in a peaceful, summery forest clearing. My father had just finished his lumber work and we had a little snack. It was my 6th birthday, and my father produced a bag of tasty berry biscuits from his pack to celebrate the occasion. After we had finished the biscuits, my father took another pouch from his pack and emptied its contents onto his palm – two small, smooth oval stones which gleamed a magical blue light. "Happy birthday, Pycella," my father said and gave me the other one of the two magical stones. I gasped. "What are they, pa?" I asked. My father rolled the other oval stone in his hand. "They are the stones of the Moon Cat. He is a magical, silvery cat who lives in the Moon, all alone. Do you want to hear the story behind the stones and the cat?" my father asked, and I nodded hastily.

    "The Moon Cat is one of the oldest creatures that inhabit the Moon. He is a big cat, with long, sharp fangs and claws that help it stick to the Moon's surface so it doesn't fall down from there. The Moon Cat is usually lurking in the caves and only comes out for prey. One night when he was crawling on the Moon's surface, he saw a large, white seagull who was flying high among the stars. The Moon Cat looked at the bird in amazement, admiring its ability to float through the air. The bittersweet thought of freedom evoked sad feelings in the Moon Cat's heart, and from his gleaming eyes, two teardrops fell down. They fell all the way down from the Moon, freezing in the air, and when they reached the Earth, they had turned into two blue, gleaming stones. These two stones," my father concluded.

    "They still have some Moon magic in them, as you can see. When these two stones are together, they produce a magical blue light, but when you separate them, the light goes out. Pycella, I want you to have the other one of these stones, and I will keep the other one. It is your birthday present." I looked up to my father, beaming... Then, the dream faded and I woke up in the tent, but the image of my father and the stones still remained in my mind.

    How could I have forgotten that birthday present! My father had embedded his stone into his precious axe, and the Overhill jeweller had made a ring of my stone. I looked at my right hand and the ring I had in my finger. It had a grey, oval stone on it, but no blue light. Still, not long ago, it had shone a blue light, before my father had vanished. For sure, the Moon Cat must be a mere tale my father invented himself, but the blue light had been real. If my father was near, I would see it from my ring and the stone in it! I still had to keep searching, I thought.

    Now I have returned back home again, but I am already thinking about my next journey to those lands. I strongly believe that I will eventually find my father again, or at least learn about his fate. I am just anxious about the passage through the mountains. I still have some spider poison inside of me, and the darkness of those mountain halls might suck the life out of me. Luckily, I will have a loyal friend by my side to comfort me (one who isn't that helpless Bingo)!

    Yours, Pycella
    Tibba, Mermund, Lully and 4 others like this.

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