Story Rubysue's Journal

Discussion in 'Stories & Tales' started by Rubysue, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Rubysue Member

    Every Story Needs a Beginning
    ---- Or ----
    Rubysue’s Journal Entry #1

    Well, I’ve been really enjoying reading some of the journals and diaries folks have chosen to leave out and available for the browsing by other members of the Order and I figured maybe some would find hearing a bit of my story entertaining.You’ll probably find this best suited for reading on a rainy afternoon when yer have nothing better to do than drinking a brew and passing time.I don’t anticipate this being a real ‘page turner’ as they say, it’s mostly just the story of a woodworker growing up and trying to ply her trade and maybe a bit about the scrapes she gets into along the way, but it isn’t going to be the stuff of any heroic songs, which suits me just fine, thank you.

    So starting at the beginning, I was born in Staddle out on the east side of Bree.My mum up and died of some sickness when I had just turned 5 years old, so I really don’t have a lot of memories of her which makes me sad when I think about it sometimes.Me and me dad moved onto my great aunts farm where I guess me dad did farm labor, at least some.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before even I realized that me dad was a sorta shiftless sort of character that would rather drink and play cards than do a decent day’s work.I guess that had been apparent to Aunt Matilda too, so she probably was pretty pleased when me dad turned up with a wagon and packed me and all our stuff up and left for the Shire.That would be about the time I was 10.

    Well, we ended up living out of that wagon in Waymeet because I guess nobody would let him park it anywhere else.There he made a bit of coin as a woodworker and began teaching me the craft as well.Looking back, his reason for teaching me was no doubt so he could collect the money for drinking without having to actually do the work.

    So time went by and I got up into me tweens before me and me dad had our final falling out, the story of which is pretty embarrassing so I’ll not be going into it here.Long and short of it is that I moved out of that wagon and haven’t ever gone back because I don’t want folks associating me with that rascal.

    I joined up with the bounders which gave me plenty of opportunity to collect up nice pieces of wood for carving as I made my bounder’s rounds.I made clubs and staves, bows and spears for the bounders and other folks as needed it and my wood working got better and better if I do say so myself.


    Pretty soon I wasn’t finding any challenge to carving Rowan and began thinking of the Ash wood I knew was to be found out past the Brandywine.
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  2. Lina Chief

    Yay, grand! I hope we will see more entries in yer journal!
  3. Rubysue Member

    It is almost a certainty.
  4. Neti Member

    Yay! I love reading journals!
  5. Rubysue Member

    Entry #2 – Breeland

    After talking things over real well one afternoon at the Ivy Bush, I told Sherriff Smallburrow that I was taking me leave of the Bounders to go traveling, and the next day I packed my things and struck out for Bree. Or, more properly I set out for Staddle because I had the idea that I’d like to see some of the places I recalled when I was small.

    Well, seeing me Gammy Boggs, that being what everyone thereabouts calls Great Aunt Matilda, was pleasant though she looked older that what I recalled and I was a little sad but not much surprised that she didn’t recognize me at all when I showed up ringing her front bell. However she was warm and welcoming enough once she knew who I was, and more so once she understood me dad wasn’t tagging along somewhere.

    Gammy about talked me ears off whilst setting out tea and sandwiches and biscuits. The biscuits were quite tasty, but the non-stop tales of Gammy’s crops and those of surrounding farms along with reports on the love life of one of her neighbors soon convinced me that I didn’t want to beg a room for my visit to Breeland. So, as the sun set I said my goodbyes and headed into Bree proper and the Prancing Pony, which is a mighty fine inn, though a lot of its patrons seem to be of the dodgy sort.


    Now I had been doing little tasks and chores helping folks out here and there around the Shire most of my young life. And when I joined up the Bounders I took it as a responsibility to help out even more, particularly with things like wolves and mysterious black riders haunting Budgeford pig pens. But it wasn’t until I got to Bree that I found that even the lankies needed more than just a little helping out.

    It started out with an invitation to meet the mayor, which I took as a pretty big honor, though I wasn’t so sure why they’d be affording me such treatment. And next there came a tour of the city, which I found to be real interesting since I saw some places I hadn’t known about before. But then came the request that I talk to one of the local bounders which they call Watchers, and after such nice treatment I couldn’t hardly say no now could I?

    It seems that Bree was having their own problems with brigands and riffraff same as we do in the Shire. So I began helping those Watchers out with running off brigands, but I was also spending a good bit of time along the way keeping an eye peeled for likely bits of ash wood to practice carving on. And so as time went on I got better and better at my wood work as well as improving my skills with a javelin and a club, though that part hadn’t really been in me original plan.

    Well, I fought brigands around Bree, and helped out a hobbit name of Adso that’s trying to build an Inn out along the road to the Shire but isn’t having much but bad luck, mostly because of those same brigands. And I ended up wandering around a bit in the Old Forest that a lot of people don’t think about being a problem for Breelanders but which is right there smack up alongside the road.But for sure the worst was the Barrow Downs.

    The Downs are spooky during the day I can tell you, but at night they get way worse with all sorts of wandering skeletons and corpses and vicious dogs the locals call barghests that wail and howl louder than the ghosts! And of course out there on the Downs there’s yet more folks with problems they can’t seem to cope with themselves but are sure willing to let a hobbit lass take a crack at. But it was also in the Downs that I came upon my first branches of Yew wood.

    After a bit of pretty intensive Ash wood hunting and carving I got to the point I figured practicing on the Yew wood I’d found would do me more good for increasing my skill any farther. I chatted with several of the townsfolk and with a number of folk that were working in the Bree crafting hall.All pretty much agreed that I could turn either of two directions, either North toward what they called the North Downs or to the West and the Lone-Lands and a place with the uninviting name of the Forsaken Inn.

    Being unable to make up me mind I did the only thing I could think of; flipped a coin, and the next day I packed my bags and headed for that Forsaken Inn.
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  6. Rubysue Member

    Entry #3 – Yew Wood, The Lonely Lands and North Downs.

    What to say about the Lonely Lands? Well, I guess the place is well named. Not many decent folk about during the time I wandered around there, that’s for sure. No hobbit folk, so needless to say it’s a pretty dreary area in general. Actually, hobbit folk are pretty rare all over, though ya do meet more out wandering like me than ya might expect. But the only hobbit folk I found were at a little camp in the hills and they seemed to be just passing through themselves.


    That Forsaken Inn sure lives up to its name, I can tell ya that.From the paintings above and below ya can see that even the proprietor’s forsaken much of any sort of upkeep. Yep, those are stars yer seeing through the ceiling.


    I found some folks in the inn that were pretty desperate for helping out, so while I hunted wood I did my best to help them too. Found myself dealing with the first good size bunch of goblins since last time I passed through the north side of the Greenfields, and up in some of those ruins there’s wolves that jump ya outa nowhere when there aren’t swarms of goblins.

    I guess I didn’t mention them ruins yet, and they’re worth mentioning. First off, there’s quite a lot of them, some pretty intact, but most full of goblins or wolves or spiders. One of the most impressive sights in that whole area is the hill they call Weathertop. You can see it off to the right in that painting up above of the outside of the Forsaken Inn. There used to be a big tower on top of the hill, the foundations of which ya can still see.

    The people that live out there in those Lonely Lands are called the Eglain, or maybe that’s just what they call themselves. Anyway, they seem to scrape out a living by looting through those old ruins. Can’t be much left from the look of it, but that’s mostly what they wanted helping out with, and to tell the truth I wasn’t too wild about helping out with that. Felt like grave robbing or something else creepy.

    And the Yew wood collecting wasn’t going that wonderful either. I was finding some of course, but it didn’t seem so plentiful as Ash had seemed around Bree. And them Eglains didn’t really have proper crafting facilities handy at that broke down inn so I had to hire a pony cart to haul my wood back to Bree to do my woodworking practice.

    It was on one of those visits back to Bree that I got talking to a lanky about how the Lonely Lands weren’t much to my liking and how I also didn’t much like having to come back to Bree just to do my woodwork. He started telling me about a place called Esteldin that’s sort of the home base of a bunch of those Ranger folks you sometimes meet wandering around out in the wilds or along the bounds of the Shire even. And he told me that not only did they have plenty of Yew wood nearby, but also Lebethron wood too which I would want to start carving on once I got Yew mastered up. And he said they had these especially good work benches there that I would be needing to work that Lebethron wood anyway, so I might as well head off and find that place.

    This made good sense to me, particularly because I didn’t like the Lone-Lands nor the Forsaken Inn so much. But before I headed up North to look for Esteldin town I found myself a set of drawings for making me a Yew wood fishing rod, which tickled me plenty because I’d been using a crummy little pole I got in Bywater for a long time and me new Yew pole was way nicer.

    I was so pleased that I began stopping off at just about any likely looking creek or pond to have a go at what might live in there. As time progressed I upgraded that pole for one I whittled of that Lebethron wood the lanky was talking about and my fishing technique got better and better and I had fish for the pan often as not which also pleased me, but this journal entry isn’t really about fishing so…

    Heading north from Bree along what they call the Greenway because it’s mostly grown over with grass, though you can still see it was well paved once upon a time, the first place of note you come to except for a big orc camp which I left alone when passing, is the town of Trestlebridge.

    Trestlebridge looks like it was a nice and pretty prosperous town once, but they sure have had their problems with orcs there! It looks like near half the town’s been put to the torch, but the folks there are pretty tough and they were still hanging on and fighting for all they’re worth.

    While passing through I figured out what they meant by the name of the town.They have this marvelous bridge that I got no idea at all how they managed to build in the first place, but it crosses a huge and deep gorge with a river running through it. It seems like the orcs are set on putting that bridge to the torch too, but the townsfolk fight hard and it was still standing. Still is, to the best of my knowledge, though it’s been some time now since I passed that way.

    Being all fired up to find Esteldin, I didn’t hang around long in Trestlebridge, but struck out on to the north and then east. At first I was seeing a good bit of Ash along the way, but then I started spotting Yew and me progress slowed somewhat.

    Eventually I did get to Esteldin though, and along the way I spotted good areas to hunt for Yew, and once there I found they do have a real well equipped craft hall as well as guild halls for various professions including the Woodworking guild.

    I’ll not talk a lot about Esteldin just now, but will just say that it ain’t much to look at compared to Bree or Michael Delving.Their biggest problem is with orcs, but there’s also spiders and worgs. Did I mention they had worgs in the Lonely Lands? Well they do, but not so many as Esteldin is surrounded by. Bottom line is that I finished up my Yew carving skills in short order and even found a couple of pretty decent fishing holes, though you have to keep yer eyes open when fishing there because some nasty stuff wanders by that would be bad to let sneak up on ya.
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  7. Rubysue Member

    Entry #4 – Esteldin to Evendim the Long Way

    So, in Esteldin I got me Yew wood carving skills all up to par and in the process I did a good bit of helping out of those ranger folk that live there. And it turns out that they seem like a very decent sort of folk, no matter what people back in Bree may whisper behind their backs. Matter of fact, I would feel a lot more inclined to sleep in Esteldin without a dagger under me pillow than in Bree.

    However, though I scouted around a good lot I didn’t find any source of Lebethron wood handy in spite of what that feller in the Bree crafting hall might have thought. But then a couple of things happened all sort of one right after the next.

    First of all, one of those ranger fellows was telling me about this other camp full of their kin folk up by that Lake Evendim and the old city, Annuminas, where the great Kings lived long ago. And another thing was that I was getting mighty homesick for the Shire and some good solid hobbit cooking and maybe the sound of folks of me own kind singing. Not that those rangers sing all that bad, but they mostly did it in elvish, which sorta threw me off since I didn’t know a lick of that language at that point, and try as they might, no lanky is going to sing pretty as a elf. And the third thing was that I got it on good authority from that same ranger that was telling me about his kin needing help up at Evendim that there was definitely lebethron wood to be had up that way.

    That night I thought things over pretty hard and also begged some maps off the rangers to look at. The way direct from Esteldin to Evendim was definitely shorter, but it passed through lands that I’d never had much desire to visit up past Fornost and through places all the rangers said was haunted by the shades of oath breakers, whoever they are.

    The other option was back through the Shire, which was the direction I was really wanting to go anyhow, and then on up through Oatbarton and Dwaling which I had never visited. But up north of Dwaling, as most every hobbit knows is Evendim, and I decided that was the direction for me.

    I set out almost at once and spent the first night in Trestlebridge where, in spite of their orc troubles, I found friendly enough accommodation. The second night I spent at the Prancing Pony in Bree where I listened for several hours to the banter in the common room but came away with nothing I could call solid news.

    The following morning I was off early trotting me pony along the road to the Shire with a brief stop to share a meager second breakfast with Adso Haybank at his work site. He still complained of trouble with brigands, but it looked like work on his inn was coming along nonetheless.

    I crossed the Brandwine Bridge as shadows were lengthening and resisted the temptation to turn in at the sign of the Golden Perch in Stock because the thought of Master Rootknot’s mushroom and mutton pie at the Green Dragon had been stirring about in me head most of the day. But even the best laid plans sometimes have to be tossed right out the window, and so it was as I trotted by on the road above Frogmorton.

    Now, you can often smell the sort of musty swampy smells that come from the wetlands around Frogmorton, but on this evening they were shoved aside by the savory smell of frying frog legs! Suddenly all thought of mushroom and mutton pie was lost and me pony was trotting down the little path to the village and the source of that wonderful aroma, the Floating Log Inn.


    For any that don't know, they have some truly whopper size frogs round about Frogmorton and in spite of their size they are mighty tender and tasty!


    I ate frog legs and fried fritters until I was about to burst and was lucky enough to get a room for the night where the roof don’t leak because I’m pretty sure I would never have made it all the way back to me hole in Burrbridge with me poor belly loaded down as it was.

    I awakened the next morning to the sun peeking through the curtains, considerably higher in the sky than I would have intended on a traveling day. It really didn’t matter though. I was back in the Shire and had slept like I didn’t have a care in the world, which I really didn’t except that it was Friday morning and I wanted to get along home and see to me long neglected hole. I also, of course, wanted to make sure I wasn’t late to the Green Dragon where I knew a festive crowd would assemble that evening.

    The next few days seemed to go by in a blur of happy times, housework and marvelous hobbit home cooking. I got me mushroom and mutton pie from the Green Dragon, and another I baked for meself the night before I set out for the North. I got me hole all turned out and cleaned up, and I visited friends from Michael Delving to Budgford and back.

    Sometimes I wonder why I ever think of going wandering beyond the bounds, but then me feet start to getting that itch and me mind turns to places I’ve not yet seen and before I hardly know it I’m out on the road again. And so it was this time. After a light breakfast me and me pony were trotting through Hobbiton and up the Hill toward Overhill with the immediate goal of reaching the Plough and Stars in Brockenborings for a proper second breakfast.


    With me belly again full I made me way up through the Greenfields uneventfully, though I did see signs there were still goblins about. Oatbarton seemed peaceful and prosperous, but I hardly slowed down to wave at farmers tending their crops here and there as I passed.

    Things were quite different, however, when I got to Dwaling. It seems about the whole town was overrun with brigands brought in from the north by someone I suspected was a hobbit if you can believe it, but I never got to the complete bottom of that. However, I couldn’t hardly just ride on. There were a few desperate folk camped out not far from the outskirts of the little village still trying to cling to what was left of their lives in that area and, well… I hate brigands of most any sort, but them that come pushing hobbit folk about bother me more than average I guess.


    I spent a good while helping those folk sort out the brigands, but in the end I managed to help those hobbit folk a good bit and put a real dent in the brigand’s egos even if they weren’t completely run off which was a pretty tall order for just li’l old me. Then I was off again following the Brandywine north until I got to the bridge they call the High King’s Crossing and the monster statue of one of them old kings they call the Colossus.


    There’s more ranger folk there at the High King’s Crossing that were asking for help and they even let me climb up onto the colossus, which was really scary but provided a wonderful view of all Lake Evendim and everything around it.


    Now I said climbing up there was scary, but let me tell ya, that was nothing to climbing down! Grabbing that rope and beginning to shinny down may be one of the braver things I ever did, even if I didn’t really have much choice.
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  8. Rubysue Member

    Entry #5 – Lake Evendim and Finding Lebethron

    I spent a good while camped with the ranger a folk at the High King’s Crossing and it was during this time that I began to understand that I was becoming what people back home in the Shire would call an Adventurer. Not that I felt particularly adventurous mind you, but up ‘till that time I had always seen meself as simply a woodworker hunting for woods to ply me trade or an explorer seeing the sights and helping folks out both because they needed the help and fer the bit of coin they often offered as reward.

    Between Dwalling and the High King’s Crossing there’s a long stretch of the Brandywine that runs through a large barren sandy area known as the Barandalf and though I’d been hoping for Lebethron, all I could find through there was more Yew which, by then, I was about up to me neck in as the saying goes. But when I got to the Crossing it was mostly back to the Barandalf that the rangers wanted me to go to aid them, so I couldn’t even pretend to meself that it was wood I was after.

    And while I had come up against groups of goblins and brigands in several places, the tomb robbers that the rangers were battling seemed to come in larger numbers and be more organized. This made carrying out some of the ranger’s requests pretty difficult, and to my mind at least, more adventuresome than just knockin’ a brigand on the head had been in the past.

    Now, I’m not gonna go much into the adventures I had whilst helping the Rangers around Evendim, nor in a lot of the places I’ll likely write about in future chapters. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First of all, looking back, I don’t suppose they were necessarily all that interesting to a lot of the people that might read this journal later on, but also because I worry about the responses some folks that did find them somewhat interesting might have. I can see some reading such stories and simply shaking their heads in disbelief thinking I’m just spinning some sort of adventure yarn. I can also see others that may know a thing or two about adventuring themselves shaking their heads and saying, “Pfft! Is that all ya managed to do?”

    Either way, telling about fighting brigands, or goblins, or orcs, or trolls nor other such isn’t what this journal is about to me own way of thinking. It’s really about things I’ve seen, places I’ve been, and the pursuit of carving wood that has at least partly driven me travels. So if I say that the rangers around Lake Evendim were contending with tomb robbers and trying to protect their old heritage, and that I helped the rangers with this, you may just assume that maybe I had a tussle or two with tomb robbers.

    But on the topic of things I saw that were interesting, there sure are enough old buildings and ruins and the like around the lake to satisfy my love of such things. And it was up around Evendim that I got me first look at a Ent, which is quite different than some of the walking trees in the Old Forest and would have been pretty scary if I’d stumbled onto it different than what I did.


    You can see from this painting that those Ents are big! Yep, that’s me down by his little toe.

    And I also got my first good look at men from Angmar that it turns out I’d see quite a lot more of later on. But in spite of all the talk, these characters are just men and really no nastier than the tomb robbers, though even more organized.


    And I did finally find that lebethron wood, though not as handy as I had hoped when I headed up North. If yer looking for some, you’ll actually find a bit of lebethron south and west of the High Kings Crossing up in the highlands. However, to find decent amounts it’s best to head to the north and west side of the big lake, the area that’s called the Emyn Uial on most maps is the place to really find decent supplies of logs. Needless to say, I spent a good while wandering around this area collecting wood and then back at Tinnudir, that being the island where the rangers have their main camp, working the wood into planks and the like.

    Time was going by, and in my time around Evendim I learned a good number of new skills, thanks in no small part to the Warden trainer, Mister Trinidui, that lives there among the rangers. Then one day he offered to sell me a couple of books that he said would help in teaching me things I ought to be knowing about this time of my life. Bullroarer’s Boy, and Chieftains of the Dunedain. He said he hadn’t ever seen a Bullroarer’s Gal book, but that he figured the information in the Boy’s book would be about the same, so I took both.

    Well, soon as I went off and found a shady spot to try reading these newly acquired tomes it was quite obvious that they were both missing a bunch of pages, so I went running back to complain to old Trinidui. But he says that of course there’s pages missing and that’s because the books are so old. But that they’re really rare and that I’m lucky to have got ones with as many pages left as what I did. And then he says to me that if I’m worried about them missing pages, what I ought to do is go have a chat with his boss, Mister Aragorn that he knows happens to be staying in Rivendell just now.

    So, I gave him a nod and told him I’d just do that without mentioning that I already knew Mister Aragorn and was right tight with him at that. I figured that my friend would help set this right and that he’d maybe even have words with Trinidui about selling defective stuff. Only problem was, I didn’t exactly know how to get to Rivendell……
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  9. Rubysue Member

    Entry #6 – Through the Trollshaws to Rivendell and More Lebethron!

    So, when ya don’t know exactly which direction to head next or ya want a bit of a clue on the direction at least, one real good option is the Prancing Pony in Bree. Now, ya’ve got to be careful of who ya go asking questions of in that inn since there’s often some pretty shady lankies hanging about, but the Innkeeper, Master Butterbur is actually full of knowledge if ya can get him to slow down and let his brain run no faster’n his mouth.

    I began by backtracking right along the route that had brought me to Evendim, but I didn’t go alone because I was riding my new pony the Ranger’s gave me as a parting gift. As fine a painted pony as I’d seen before, so I named him Spots for reasons ya can probably figure out from this drawing…


    And behind me I led me old pony pretty well laden with trophies and mementos I’d gathered that tha Rangers didn’t think were of real historic value, but that I liked or figured I could maybe sell for a bit of honest profit. And there were also several tidy sacks of gold and silver I’d collected despoiling the remains of some nasty folk that wouldn’t be needing those worldly items any longer.

    So when I made me way back to the Shire I found I had enough coin set aside to afford meself a lovely little hole that I found for sale at number 4 Wending Way in the hamlet of Burrbridge for a fair asking price. I was so excited I put off me journey for at least a little bit. The next few weeks were certainly busy as I turned the place out and gave everything a good cleaning and some fresh paint before moving me own stuff in. And when I was done with that it seemed a bit hollow really given that all me possessions didn’t hardly finish furnishing the place. Of course, now I smile because it didn’t seem to take too long to stuff it with mathoms (mostly of the non-historic sort), trophies like me stuffed fish collections and various mementos I’ve gathered since.

    Finally, however, all was in order and thoughts of finding me way to Rivendell again started stirring in me head. So I arranged for one of the neighbor ladies to watch me place, though all her questions about where I was going and when I’d be returning were a bit off puttin’. And my explanation that I was off seeking exotic wood for fine carvings didn’t satisfy her much until I explained that it involved places out perhaps even beyond Woodhall. That seemed to satisfy her that I was indeed a wanderer.

    The next morning was clear and bright and riding across the Shire more of a pleasure than I’d recalled. That evening I spent at the Golden Perch in Stock and enjoyed their justly renowned Brandywine perch and chips dinner, and the next morning a hearty hobbit breakfast of pork sausage, beacon, fried hen’s eggs and a small mountain of crusty fresh baked rolls slathered in butter.

    Both well rested and well fed, I set out across the Brandywine Bridge and leaving the Shire behind I was off trotting down the now familiar road to Bree, and though there were the usual wolves and bears to watch for along the way, I saw no signs of brigands in the woods as I passed. But coming to Master Adso’s camp I was sad to see that he wasn’t making much progress on the new inn, but he seemed to have several young adventurous folk hanging about helping out so I continued on me own way.

    The Pony was about as I’d recalled it, noisy, smoky, and sort of dirty in a way only lankies seem able to achieve; dingier than the happy clutter of a hobbit inn in spite of the best efforts of Mr. Butterbur’s folk. But I did manage to have a nice chat with the inn keep and though he was pretty vague about how exactly one would get to Rivendell he was quite sure it was out east away beyond them lonely lands. He said maybe I’d do well to check with old Anlaf, the tavern keeper at that Forsaken Inn.

    Next day I was off out the south gate of Breetown and had an easy enough ride out to the edge of the Lone Lands and Anlaf’s dilapidated inn. This time, however, I knew a bit about what to expect and loaded Spots up with a good supply of food and drink in Bree. I can’t imagine many folks that’ve eaten at the Forsaken Inn relishing the idea of a return visit.

    Anlaf seemed to know a good bit more than Mister Butterbur had. “Jus’ keep goin’ East away, long the road.” he said. “You’ll eventually get to the Last Bridge that crosses the Hoarwell and ye’ll come into the land folks name the Trollshaws. What traveler’s there’s been that have come from East away say there’s been trolls spotted along the road at night, so I wouldn’t suggest a li’l hobbit like you even think o’ going that way!”

    When pressed, he allowed that if one continued along the road and avoided being et by trolls they’d come through a series of deep gorges to the river Bruinen where there was no bridge, but that was easily forded at the place where the road crossed. However, beyond there Anlaf’s knowledge failed him. All he could say was that the valley of the elves was some place between the Bruinen and the Misty Mountains, but at least I had a good idea of a direction to head in for the next leg of the trip.

    Most of the time the trip through the Lone Lands and Trollshaws was pretty boring, we just trotted along looking out for the occasional warg or whatnot that might be wandering near the road. A lot of days were pretty long because I always wanted quiet and cozy spots to make me camps and in some spots those were few and far between. But once I got across that Last Bridge I started finding Lebethron wood, so collecting that broke a lot of the monotony.

    I breathed a sigh of relief when I got to the Bruinen because I’d not seen any trolls along the way. I found a nice quiet spot to make a camp near the river with good grass for Spots and good fishing for Rubysue, so we took a day off from traveling and just rested up.

    Along the road between the bridge and the ford I ran across a couple of elfs, and when I told them I was looking for Rivendell they said not to worry, there was a path plain and obvious right from the ford, but at least to me own eyes it wasn’t so simple. I managed to get lost and turned around about three times along the way, and the whole area was just crawling with bears. Big ones! Still, I eventually found me way and the elves that were guarding the path into the valley said they were pretty sure Mister Aragorn hadn’t left yet, which made me mighty happy because it had been a long trip.
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  10. Rubysue Member

    Entry #7 – Rivendell and Into The Misty Mountains

    Rivendell is certainly lovely. That’s about all I’m going to say about it since there’s lots and lots of descriptions of Elrond’s valley available for reading and I doubt I could add much. I wandered around for a bit sniffin’ of the flowers and gazing at the pretty waterfalls and before too long I found me a elf that pointed me towards a guest house where she said I’d be able to find Mister Aragorn.

    Sure enough, Aragorn was there in the guest house and after he got over being surprised to see little ol’ me way outside the bounds and exchanging some pleasant remarks back and forth I pulled out me defective copies of Bullroarer’s Boy and Chieftains of the Dunedain to show him.

    He looked ‘em over nodding his head all the while I was pointing out how they both had a bunch of pages torn out, and how that Mister Trinidui had sold them to me like they were something special. Surprisingly, however, Aragorn didn’t seem to think I’d been treated so badly and he said that he figured he knew where I could go to hunt for some of them missing pages.

    If I was to leave Rivendell by the path to the north, he said, I’d soon start climbing up into the Misty Mountains. He warned them mountains were full of dangerous creatures and frigid cold too with snow on the ground all the time. But he said that if I was to head on northwards by the most direct path and didn’t get et by anything along the way I’d come to a place the elfs called the Northern Bruinen Source and that all around there I’d likely find lankies called Corcur, particularly up towards the entrance to a place called Helegrod. And what’s more, these Corcur were somehow involved with the tearing up of them books, so maybe they’d have some of the pages that I was looking for.

    I bundled up the best I could and set out to see what I’d find in the mountains, and yes, what I found was mostly snow. But there was friendly dwarfs up there too, and lots of unfriendly things like small cats that were nonetheless real dangerous for their size, and bears that were also dangerous for their size and they was big! And there were strange creatures I’d not seen the like of such as snow beasts and big ol’ lizards called Rock-Worms, but they were nothing you’d even consider baiting a hook with!

    When I finally got up to the Northern Bruinen Source I did start finding those Corcur fellows wandering about among all the snow beasties and worms that ain’t fish bait, but the most of them were up along the path to Helegrod, like Mister Aragorn said they’d be, guarding the entrance.

    First thing I did was try reasoning with a few of them Corcur lankies, but the whole lot of them seem to be unfriendly… real unfriendly; so I ended up having to fight ‘em if I wanted me pages. And them fellows were pretty tough too, so I ended up getting in quite a bit of practice with me spear and shield, and although I would have preferred getting practice with a spoon and fork I just got more dead set that I wanted them pages to fill out me books.

    I had almost decided that Aragorn was wrong about them Corcurs having any of the pages I was hunting when I finally found one among the stuff in one of their pockets, so as ya might guess, I had to spend a good long while persuading them to give up their stuff. So long, in fact, that I had to make a number of trips back to Rivendell just to empty me own packs and to make a couple of visits to the elves’ Warden trainer for tips and pointers.

    It was on one of them trips back that I broke down and got one of the elf cobblers to sew me up a pair of boots ‘cause I was sick of having froze toes. She talked to me a good bit about what I wanted and I told her how I wasn’t accustomed to wearing shoes of any sort really but that I’d like something comfy and warm that maybe would also protect me toes if I was to kick something real hard. See, I do that sometimes when I have to fight something; give it a good swift kick. With lankies I can’t really kick high enough to get any of them vital parts, but a good kick in the shins hurts too.

    The next day when I went to pick up me new boots I was mighty pleased. She had sewn me up a pair out of soft and supple leather that was nonetheless strong and rigged with sturdy soles. And she had sewn in metal thingies into the toes that would let me kick just about anything without scrunching me toes. She also sewed in a clever little sheath in one of them boots that you could slip a small dagger into without fear of slicing yer leg and though I don’t brag about it, that dagger has come in handy more than once.

    Through the rest of the time I spent in those mountains my feet stayed warm and toasty. And even when I moved along to other places I got in the habit of often wearing those lovely boots since in many places there’s stuff I’d just as soon not step on, or in, with me bare feet. Of course, I mostly don’t wear them around the Shire since our grass is the best in the world for walkin’ on and our soil rich and not prone to having sharp rocks.

    As I was wandering about in the Misty Mountains I ended up doing a number of little jobs for folks around Rivendell which seemed like the least I could do given how nice they all treated me. It was the same with the friendly dwarfs I met up in the mountains. Their camp was right along the way to Rivendell and they often sold me supplies and sometimes lent me a pony since I couldn’t bring Spots up into that snowy land where there was no grass for grazing.

    While doing some of those jobs I ended up wandering all over them Misty Mountains it seemed, and I saw a bunch of things that were interesting or scary or both at once. There were old dwarf ruins here and there that I really enjoyed visiting and admiring even though some of them were full of them unpleasant dwarfs, the Dourhands. And there’s a big ol’ goblin hole that I believe is the very place Mister Frodo used to tell us kids about old Bilbo Baggins getting lost in. But best of all, there’s Oliphants! Yep, big as a house and all shaggy, though they looked browner to me than being gray as a mouse like in the poem.

    After what seemed forever then, and still seems like a pretty long time looking back on it, I got where it had been a good while since I’d found any new book pages. I discussed this with Aragorn and we counted up what I’d found and how many pages were missing. It turned out I’d found half the missing pages from both books and Aragon said he reckoned maybe I’d found all I was going to in the Misty Mountains.

    He told me that what I ought to do was go visit his kin folks in Esteldin in the North Downs. He said if I wanted the rest of them pages my best bet was in a place called Angmar and his kin could point me in the right direction. Well, I had heard about Angmar before, but nothing I’d heard was good except maybe that it’s a long way from the Shire.

    But now that I’d put in all the effort of finding the first half of them pages I couldn’t hardly quit my search.
    However, I figured I needed some rest and fattening up on good Shire food before I undertook finding me way to Angmar. So the next morning I packed me stuff, saddled Spots, and after saying me goodbyes in Rivendell I set out for home.
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  11. Rubysue Member

    Listening to the wind howling and the sound of thunder rumbling across the Shire, Rubysue carefully stacked the dishes from her second breakfast back on their shelves and contemplated what to do next. Walking into her great room she noticed her old journal laying on a corner of the map table. At least once a week, when she was at home, she pondered continuing the story she had started what seemed now to be a long while ago, and with a smile she decided this was just the day.

    She drew up a chair and opened her ink well then, after a few moments pondering, she began to write:

    Entry #8 – An Unexpected Message and a New Quest

    By the time I’d made meself ready and climbed out of Rivendell’s deep valley a good bit of the day was already gone, so when I spotted a real likely camping spot along the path I decided to stop for the night. Then, whilst roasting up some sausages the elfs had given me for the trip, I heard the sound of hooves clippity-clopping along from the direction of Rivendell.

    Soon an elf came riding up that I thought I recognized, though I didn’t know her name, which she soon told me was Geillin. And she said that Master Elrond had sent her looking for me because he had something important he wanted to talk to me about, and she handed me a letter from him that said basically the same thing.

    She helped with saddling Spots back up and packing up me gear, while I finished roasting them sausages all the while asking Geillin what it was Elrond was wanting me for. And if she knew the answer she was tight lipped about it, but she seemed sure it was important and fretted so that once the sausages were cooked and the fire put out I ended up eating them in the saddle as I followed her back up the path.

    By the time we got back to Elrond’s house the fires had burned low and all was quiet. Geillin put me in a guest room where I managed a few hours’ sleep before I was awakened by her knocking. She took me straight away to Elrond’s library where we found the elf lord.

    To say I was bewildered and a bit concerned that I’d done something wrong would be understating me trepidation as I stood looking up into Elrond’s grey eyes. But he returned a kindly gaze and said simply, though rather cryptically, that he’d called me back because me friend Aragorn was going to have need of me help though Aragorn hadn’t known it when I said goodbye to him the day before. And with that he sent me off hunting the Ranger and still wondering what was going on.

    When I entered Aragorn’s guest cottage he seemed surprised but mighty pleased to see me since I’d said me goodbyes to him just the day before. “Hail and well met, Rubysue.” he said.

    “It is well that you have come. This morning, a falcon arrived, bearing a message for me from Esteldin, the hidden refuge of my people in the North Downs. It would appear that another such bird came to Esteldin from the North, gravely wounded, bearing a message from one of my kinsmen we had believed long dead.

    “I know little more, for the message to me was brief, but Daervunn has asked me to come at once. My time here is short, and I cannot return to confer with my people. My path lies to the south and to the east. Will you go to Esteldin in my stead and learn what tidings have come there? Speak to Daeruvunn, for it was he who sent the message to me.

    “I fear the news is grave, for Corunir was deemed lost years ago when his captain, Golodir, disobeyed my edict and took a company north into Angmar. They were never heard from again. It is a joy that Corunir lives, but what kept him from contacting us before now?”

    After a bit more chit-chat with Aragorn, and again saying goodbye, I collect Spots from the stables and set out from Rivendell, but now my journey seemed to have taken on a sense of urgency I had not felt before. I knew from studying maps in Rivendell, one of which the elfs had kindly gifted to me, that I could turn north near Weathertop and come through some wild country to the North Downs. However, there wasn’t a clear road and, being unfamiliar with the areas other than knowing both the Lone Lands and North Downs were infested with orcs and goblins, I recalled the old saying, “shortcuts make long delays,” and decided to follow the clear road.

    When I got to the spot I’d tried to camp at the day before I looked up at how much of the day I had left and decided to press on. But as I passed I recalled those savory sausages and me tummy gurgled a bit and I regretted not having taken time to beg some more before again setting off.

    I won’t say much about the trip back to Bree since it’s basically the same story as told earlier about getting to Rivendell, except that I was facing the other way. I did, however, see trolls this time, so the stories of them are seemingly true. I’m happy to report that Spots could pretty easily outrun them or I guess I might not be reporting anything.

    As Spots plodded across the Lone Lands and through the Breeland I pondered if I should take the time to return to the Shire as I had been planning, or press on, turning north on the Greenway. And it wasn’t until I was eating my dinner, having arrived at the Prancing Pony and arranged a room for the night with Mister Butterburr, that I finally decided. It was Butterburr’s pork pie that ultimately tipped the scales. It was wholesome enough, but I dearly missed good Shire cooking that was only a short pony ride off my assigned path.

    I spent about a week at home cleaning, patching, or replacing my traveling clothes and eating mushroom and mutton pies for lunch and dinner most days. I just can’t seem to get enough of mushroom and mutton and have been very disappointed that folks in the places I’ve traveled to don’t seem ever to serve it. Even the elves in Rivendell, who had me in for a number of wonderful dinners, don’t offer mushroom and mutton pies.

    And through all this time I had the wheels turning in me head because I had learned a lot of things in Rivendell about what all was going on in the wide world that us hobbits don’t really think about much, even them of us that are aware a wider world is out there. And I had found out that a number of the things I had been doing for me friend Aragorn that had been helping out him and also some other hobbit folk that I best not really discuss, were really a lot more important than they had seemed at the time.

    There was a part of me brain that said I ought to forget about all them outlandish folks and get to minding me own business. Maybe just use me carving skills to craft fishing poles and the occasional hunter’s bow and maybe even find me a fella and settle into a quiet life like any good hobbit ought to want. But the rest of me brain and me heart knew that wasn’t what I was going to do. Like it or not, there were things needed doing and I needed to help.

    It was a rainy dreary morning when I finally set out for Esteldin and it matched the mood of that bit of me mind that would’ve been happier making a nice second breakfast and sitting by the fire reading and listening to the rain spatter on the window panes. The decisions were made though, and that voice soon withdrew to sulk in whatever corner of the mind overruled common sense goes to.
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