Another New Journal, Entry One



My last journal was lost as were many other things, presumably forever. Of my earthly things I have lost to this ill-begotten journey it is that which I shall miss the most dearly. I have had the fortune to secure another to continue my musings, of which there are many. 

I will not yet recount my journey north and the subsequent horrors that I have endured. Other things are more fresh on my mind. I did not count the days that I stumbled through the wilds suffering the elements and the insatiated hunger the disgusting fare that leaked, wriggling from my torn pockets could not repel. Yet were it not for the wren that had shown me their nest I might have lacked the strength to make the walk. 

My body and my spirits failed me, but my resolve and my eyes did not. I saw the signs of a kinsman's passing; more, I saw the personal sign of none other than Megorin. I knew the path to sanctuary and within another day I had come upon the campfire, not the slim crop of flame that would satisfy the needs of a sole traveller but one large enough for a company.

A man and a woman, the other man were in far worse state than I and the woman were clearly there for his sake. It was a strange encounter to find out here in the now unfriendly hills of what the Bree-folk call the North Downs, I was keen to enquire but rest and sustenance were first on my mind. Narys were hospitable. Rhaug was wary. The following days consisted of many hours of rest and suffering the pains I had suppressed until now. In my moments of wakefulness I spoke as and watched my companions. 

There is no other man I would have wished to come upon any more now than Megorin. His easy manner lifted the fog of dread that had stalked me, I am pleased that I could shock him with my appearance but no sooner than I had settled were he reverted to his familiar wit and begun a valiant attempt upon our evening meal. We have been parted since Imladris.
There is much for us to speak of and even for the care he offers me now, there is still much I must demand of him. He shall follow. Even as he shall find these lands ill pleasing and devoid of waters to cast his rod. I long for the day that we might together spend a futile spring day awaiting fish that is not there by the river.

I now owe a small debt to the young woman by the name of Narys, a Bree-lander of a fiery disposition and weighty feelings which plagues her sorely. I desired to press my questions and cautions as to why she had come to these hostile lands and whether it was her burdened heart that had carried her here. How she longed for Rhaug's attentions were clear, aching under his gaze or for the lack of it. I cannot tell what the nature of this infatuation is nor is it truly my business. Though it is an unwelcome distraction.
She offered me kindness and care at her own expense during our time together, for this I am in her debt as much as I fear I will not find the opportunity to repay it. It is difficult to say whether we shall meet again. We parted ways in Trestlebridge.

To meet Rhaug again was an unexpected surprise. I cannot say what I feel of this. Perhaps I might have avoided this were the situation any different. Struck by a goblin arrow, he suffered fevers and much pain. There was more weight laden on him by the presence of the woman, for reasons I cannot certainly tell. 
He was skinnier than I remember him, more pale and withdrawn. I had foreseen a miserable sight if I saw him again. But there are fresh wounds on his spirits in addition to the old, it continues to plague his moods and appetite even after his recovery. 

Given time to rest my wounds have healed and I must take north again. It came as no surprise that Megorin would readily follow. I have come upon other companions, a small joy, but learnt that I was not the only one missing. I met Arostir and old Bramblefoot in Trestlebridge, both of us relieved and glad to find each other well, more so they than I. To find the old man still well and on the trail brought me ease. His wisdom is untarnished. I pray now that his luck is the same as I watch him depart on a quest of his own, to seek out another of our missing friends. 

The day of our departure has come and gone. Megorin makes for easy company but Rhaug and I retain our differences, his heavy spirits may prove a burden as much as I require him to show me what he has found in the north.

I do not require the man's friendship, only his eyes and hands for the enemy ahead. Yet this night he laid bare his troubles, but briefly. Hurt has been inflicted upon him. Made out to be something that he is not. Words that have reopened old scars. 

I must close my heart to all else but the enemy and the task ahead of us now, my own pains and those of others. The serpent that gnaws in my breast as I fear for what I have seen and wonder of the news kinsmen have brought must be stilled. 

I have written enough this night.