Fourth Letter to Lothelian

Dearest Faerind,

We have come upon a hidden camp among the woods in the land of the periannath. It is everything I could wish for in such a place: a choice selection of large trees to climb, a small clearing in the center for a campfire, and a stash of provisions for wandering travelers who might come upon it. Glorendir told us that our kindred often use the place for respite on their travels and to stay out of the sight of the periannath. After scouting around, Glorendir brought back some loaves of bread, fruit, and a flagon of drink for us to share. At the moment, I cannot think of a more appealing way to live. It surprises me somewhat to write this, Faerind, but I would not mind if I spent the rest of my days passing from hidden camp to camp, leaving food for any of our wandering kindred and partaking of it with them.

Though if they are anything like Celebrig, I would rather not have any company. At the moment, I sit in one of the tall oak trees in the clearing, avoiding his jeers and snide comments. Do you know what he said of me? He said that I liked to fawn over myself. I, of course, vehemently denied it. I thought I had escaped those types of accusations when I left Imladris. You know how the elves in the valley used to talk. Yet, in Celondim and Duillond, no one knew me and I was free of preconceived notions and reputations such as that. I had a clean slate and I was glad to be free of idle gossipers who said I always preened and thought too much of myself. Such comments still follow me and they make old wounds sore.

Why is it that taking care of one’s appearance is snickered upon and ridiculed? Everyone knows that a presentable appearance is important for setting good impressions. In fact, I have seen elves gossiped about for the exact opposite reason because they do not spend any time looking after their appearance. And you know as well as I do that many of those that fault others for preening over themselves are doing just the same behind their closed doors – though in Celebrig’s case, it is quite the opposite; I would dare say he spends no time worrying about his appearance or manners at all – So, why is it that others can whisper foul remarks about me for tending to my hair and clothes? I only happen to do exactly as others do without hiding it. I wish you were here so I could unburden myself of these thoughts and you could cheer me up as you always do.

Celebrig has gone from the clearing, so I think I will share a word with Glorendir who is playing something pleasant on a lute. Speaking of music, he tells me there is a summer dance in Celondim. I will find out more about it and see if I can convince you to travel all this way to attend with me.