The journey continues



Laurelindo was sitting in the camp, next to Tyulussë. His book in his laps and writing, keeping an ear out for any problem. After all, they knew the area wasn’t safe, and it was merely a camp, they were in. And with Tyulussë’s injury…

I seem to have been remiss in keeping the account of our travel. To my defence, the past two days were a bit busy. Not particularly eventful at first but busy and fun. Something only happened today. But let’s write things in order.  

Once our belongings were dry, we put them back in our packs and went on our way. Our books had been saved. We only lost a few pages. Or I did. I haven’t looked at Tyulussë’s book, but it seems likely that his books also lost a few pages. My flute survived the water. As did Tyulussë’s harp. For which I am grateful. I’d have hated to have lost our instruments. (not that they were really at risk with a very short contact with water but…)

We spoke about getting a map again. Either at the first outpost we’d join, or by going back home, getting a map and leaving again…

We decided against going back home. One, it’d put us terribly… late by our own schedule. And second, we knew the way… mostly.

While we were walking, Tyulussë noted that he wished we had reconsidered taking horses with us. But… It is better to be able to stay unseen that to be maybe able to outrun danger. We picked up berries while on the road. It’s always nice to have some with diner.

We stopped on our way down a hill, contemplating the view we had from there. We could see the bridge leading to Eregion from where we stood. And the river under the rising sun seemed like gold. It was… Magnificent.

Tyulussë seemed strangely wary of me as we needed to cross the river on several points. Well… I did think of trying again to throw him in but… For one, our packs weren’t more waterproof than they were the day before, and I had no will to have to stop again so close to Eregion to dry our books and instruments, and for a second… He was too wary of it for it to be fun. So I didn’t.

Tyulussë though splashed a lot of water around him while walking in. That made me smiles I must admit. I didn’t mind the water and even my bag could withstand that much water.

Tyulussë asked me then if losing the maps had been my plan all along as it is more exiting to travel this way, without a map for direction. Well, no it wasn’t. For one, it’d be a tad uncomfortable to tell a search party (if we were searched for that is) that we got lost merely because we destroyed our maps by accident earlier in our travel.

Tyulussë noted that he’d rather not explain himself to lord Dolthafaer. “Something about his look unnerves him”. I don’t know, Dolthafaer was rather nice last time we spoke. But that’s the point I guess as Tyulussë explained that: “He is so... quiet, and polite. I trust the polite ones even less than I trust the quiet ones.”

That made me smiles. Anyway, it was night time when we arrived in Eregion. Tyulussë was nervous and I was… I don’t know. Not nervous but… excited to be home without being pressed by the time to do anything.

The stars were beautiful, and gave enough light to light our path until the first outpost, Gwingris. We stopped there for the night and wrote a message to lord Anglachelm with a rapport of the situation in this area. The elves stationed there told us one of their messenger would bring it. I suggested adding a song to lord Anglachelm’s letter but Tyulussë noted that if we did, lord Anglachelm would: “send us a reply politely asking us to stay here.” So our poor leader will receive a very dry report of the situation…

Being there… Memories of what the place looked like before its destruction was very close to our minds. We both had seen this place when it was full of life.

We also started a song about two foolish minstrels going on a journey to Eregion. That was fun to write. Well… To start writing. After all, our journey is far from over.

I brought some tea from the elves here. The holly leaf tea. It had been so long since either of us drank it…

I think that the best part of the day, night included, was when we sat in the camp and took pencil and books out to start to write the song relating our journey. We haven’t written a song together in far, far too long. Though it was truly strange to write something in a book those pages had been soaked and then dried.

Laurelindo took a look at Tyulussë as he stopped writing for a minute. The bandages were still in place and Tyulussë had stopped poking at it. Laurelindo nodded. Really there was no worst patient than a fellow healer. And one who was a dear friend on top of that…

Laurelindo smiled sadly and returned to his writing:

We spent the night working on that song. It was fun. Really fun.

In the morning, we purchased waterproof bags. If nothing else, it’d save our books and our new song from drowning if we happened to, er… Dive again unexpectedly.

Laurelindo chuckled softly at that. Their dives were rarely truly unexpected but…

We choose not to buy a map. We however borrowed a map from someone in the camp.. Tyulussë charmed an elleth there into letting us take a look at one map in order to get an idea of our road until the next outpost. We gave her the map back immediately after.

We did take the risk of getting lost, but as I told my friend, I hate waste and I prefer to risk getting lost than to have to buy a map at every outpost we stopped to. Besides… Where is the fun in knowing exactly where we were? We’re in Eregion. We’re home! Yes, the place is dangerous now but… Frankly, if we were careful and discreet there was no reason for us to fear getting lost.

We were told there was some uruk activity in some old ruins so we’d try to stay clear from that area on our way. It was easy, we simply had to follow a road while not crossing it.

We spoke a little of our plans and decided to try and camp in the outposts and not in the wild. While one of us could always keep guard, it was just easier to stay in an outpost.

We collected some leaves from the holly trees for tea. I had brought some dried leaves already, but I fresh leaves picked up on our way wouldn’t hurt and besides… It’d make more tea for later.

We crossed a dry patch of land that had once been a very watery river bed. I lost count of how many time we used to jump in it, getting pushed or pulled in it, or just stayed nearby enjoying a bright day. It is… sad to see such things changes, though I am aware that nothing is eternal in Middle Earth.

We arrived soon to Echad Eregion. The place was bigger once. A trading area. I remember coming here with my father. It was the best days because there were lots of minstrels coming and going in trading areas. I didn’t like the forge and couldn’t tell the difference between one ingot of silver and another ingot of silver, but I could pick up a lot of information from a minstrel to another minstrel. My father always underestimated the cheer importance of what one could learn just listening to a traveling musician.

We stayed in the only building in ruin there was left with walls, and… I surprised Tyulussë with some holly leaf tea. Tyulussë suggested we could try fishing the next day. Well… I didn’t like fishing much but as it was what he wanted… I supposed we could.

Hm… I still don’t know how to do it but I dearly hope I’ll be able to import this tea regularly from Eregion. Maybe a trip once every few months. Or I should get a new tree for my garden back home and let it grow. If it could survive my turtle while it was a sapling…

We checked with the outpost but it seemed there was nothing of note to report to lord Anglachelm. Well, we still sent a letter that their messenger would get to him. Without a song alas. I am sure our lord will be disappointed…. Or not.

Laurelindo smiled and looked at a slightly sleepy Tyulussë. Should he, or should he not slip him some tea against the pain… Or a mild sleeping draught? His injuries weren’t life threatening, but they were painful. And moving as he was, he did nothing to help himself.

If he couldn’t rest after a while, he’d suggest it to his friend. And if he refused… Well, something to dull the pain would definitively find itself on the bandages that covered the wounds. There was being too prideful for one’s own good after all.

Today had started well. We decided to go to Echad Dunann. The outpost closest to Moria’s gates.  I never came here before, but Tyulussë did.

As we didn’t know what we’d risk finding on the road, we decided to avoid following the road. Wargs or orcs or whatever could maybe roam this area and as we had very little information and we were getting closer to Moria…

Tyulussë noted that the land was quieter than expected. That we had been lucky or that the land is less contested that we thought.

Laurelindo sighed as he wrote that. Of course, he HAD to say that then…

We shared a few berries while stopping around a hill, about halfway between Echad Eregion and Echad Dunann. That’s when problems arose.

Tyulussë heard something, and a wolf attacked us. Tyulussë told me to run while he fought but as I did run, I went straight to another wolf. I managed to stay out of the way of Tyulussë AND out of the way of the wolves’ claws and teeth.

Tyulussë killed them, but he was injured. He was in shock and injured. He tried to pull a Hammerite behaviour on me and to go on without getting healed, the fool.

Alright he had arguments, but it is STILL a foolish behaviour. I managed to convince him to at least let me apply a bandage on his wound. There was no point in him leaving a trail of blood behind us. One it was bad for his health, second, there was nothing better to get us attacked again.

I worked as fast as I could to still be efficient and soon helped Tyulussë to get back up.

We got to Echad Dunann faster than I thought and with no more problems. And I think we were lucky for if I had to be the one fighting, chances are we’d find ourself in a world of trouble.

It had been hard to convince Tyulussë to let me treat his wound properly.

While being treated, he had noted that: “It felt... strange” and that he “like fixing wounds. Not causing them.”

Well, so did I, and we were lucky that he was more skilled than me with a blade.

I managed to start a fire and bought us some meat from someone in the outpost. I’ll need to either leave the camp to gather herbs or buy herbs to replace what I used on Tyulussë. I don’t anticipate more problems, but I’d rather have a full supply that we don’t need than no supply and need of it. We do need it for Tyulussë now, after all.

It was only a bite and one not life threatening but nevertheless we couldn’t just ignore it.

And I just realised that I entirely forgot to ask if there was anything to report to lord Anglachelm. Oh well, I’ll do that in the morning.

At least now we’ll have something more to add to our song.

Laurelindo sighed and looked at the stars above before adding a log to their fire nearby.

Speaking of their song…