The journal of a wandering Horse-lord. Fifth entry.



As neither of us were in a hurry our speed of travel was quite tardy. As ever since we met, few words were exchanged between Snorru and I, though a few passing comments about the local flora and fauna we did make as his love of nature seemed to match mine. Yet the waggon rolled on without merry thoughts as recent events held nothing to be merry about. Snorru's wife lay dead, her body nestled among the sacks of grain behind us and my sullen companion had lost everything else as well, save his merchandise and his home in Galtrev towards which we were now bound.

The journey along the road was uneventful and we came upon no hardship. Common folk passed us by occasionally and merely glanced at our direction, some more surprised to see one of the Rohirrim next to a Dunlending than others, though none made a number out of it though a rare sight it must have been. One passerby stopped us for a moment as we neared Galtrev and spoke to Snorru while occasionally pointing towards that town and shaking his head. I was never well versed in the tongue they spoke and understood little, save that some trouble was brewing. I took this time to walk a little and to speak reassuring words to Sigefaest that his time as a work horse was nearing its end.

After the two had spoken briefly and we were once again on our way, I noticed Snorru had become even more grim in demeanor if possible and indeed he seemed to want to hasten our speed which until now had been that of no hurry. While he didn't urge me to it, I still gave fair Sigefaest the signal to tread more urgently and after a quick glance at me he did so. The day was soon at its end and the sun had began its descend yet we made no effort to camp as our journey was nearing its end. Galtrev was already visible in the distance with its walls and smoke rising from a few chimneys, and at the eastern gate a bustle of people could be seen. As we neared the town and were only a furlong away from the gate we saw quite clearly something was amiss.

"What is this devilry?" Snorru asked in surprise and dismay at the sight we both beheld. "An uncouth Half-Orc and one of my own standing at the gate as if equals and harassing whoever seeks entrance? This was not so when me and Igrid left not that long ago...!" I looked at the scene and then back to my unfortunate companion. "Horse-bastard, I have one last favor to ask of you, if you would listen. I have brooded over this since we left that scene of tragedy in Gravenwood and the sight of what has now become of my town further spurs me to ask you of this." I nodded and raised an eyebrow at these sudden words from Snorru. "Ask what you will, good man. I can make no promise of it until I hear what you say, but if it is in my power to grant your wish I will do what I can."

With a grim glance towards the guarded gate Snorru continued, "Then listen to me. I have a feeling I know what is going on in Galtrev but it's no concern of yours so it is not your business either. The thing is, I have already lost too much as it is and I will not hand over my trade goods and my waggon to the thugs that now plague the town as it seems and I'm sure that is exactly what will happen if I try to pull it through that gate. In passing, you told me of your plan to reach Bree-land in the north so here is what I would ask of you, Gamferth. Take my waggon and the goods in it and bring it to Bree where a cousin of mine has made his living as a carpenter. Tell him he may sell everything and keep what he can get as long as he'll offer me a place to stay if I come visit as I very well might after I bury my dear Igrid."

A slightly distressed neigh escaped my Sigefaest upon hearing the man speak and as I looked at my great steed now reduced to pulling a wagon I could've sworn seeing him roll his eyes at the prospect of having to further act as if a simple beast of burden. I smiled at him with understanding, yet answered to the worried man at my side, "Then give me the name of this cousin so I may look for him upon my arrival. This task is something I can do yet I have little experience in hauling goods and the road is not familiar to me."

Good Snorru was visibly relieved and gave me a weary smile and shook my hand after giving me the details of who I should look for in Bree. I helped him take the slender body of his wife from among the sacks of grain and with a short farewell he started towards the ominous pair at the gate, while carrying his late wife. I bade Sigefaest onward and we steered away from the town and headed north and west as the crude map I had indicated a pass of sorts through which we would find ourselves further and into Enedwaith.