Journal - Journey's end

I am home, finally. The trek felt like we've spent weeks on the way, even though it was much shorter. I've felt oddly absent-minded the entire time, but a few things worth of note happened since we left the Buckland behind. So I'll write it down, because I told myself I would. Are you proud of me, past myself?
Yeah, I'm not either.

First we traveled past the Shire. Hobbits looked odd at me, kids grinned until I grinned back. Nobody likes the sight of your teeth showing under a tear in your lips. I'm aware and alright with that, so it annoyed me when, once we made a stop in Bywater, nobody wanted to talk to the damned innkeeper. So I had to, because of course. Got me a lager, the rest got drinks and pies. It was here when I've realised we're dragging a child along for this trek. Why? Because she wanted to see more of the world. Suppose it's as good a time as any, though I am glad the kid wasn't with us in the forest. Having to babysit basically everyone there was tough enough already.

Turns out someone broke into a mill in Hobbiton (real creative town naming, by the way) and rumours go about sicknesses and ghosts. My guess was some bastard tainted the grain in the mill and that caused the illness, but no proof of that was found. We went to investigate because extra coin, but in the end, I wasn't feeling up to it and nobody else cared, so we moved on instead. After snooping around and deciding that indeed, the mill was broken into.
Time well spent.

Then we moved on again, stopped at some swamp town for a bit, where nothing of any worth happened, so we moved on into the elflands of Ered Luin. First thing we encountered was a song. That godsdamned Elbereth tune I've heard sung and whistled so much in Dol Amroth, no less thanks to that irritating fop who fancied himself an elf-lover. As if he ever saw an elf in his life. As if any of us did.
Well, we did now and while their singing is actually beautiful, the song itself annoys me as much as it ever did. Happens when you listen to something for a large chunk of your life, whether you want to or not.

We followed the elf and got invited to their home to rest in. Personally, I'd tell them to bugger off and sleep in tents, but the rest of the group is awfully trusting and took them up on the offer. Time spent in that place was... dull. You can't feel the time passing in their cities at all. I felt like a fly trapped in amber and I can safely say I wasn't the only one - Twigman and his sass-mouthed companion felt just as bad. The girl and I spoke briefly. Few barbs were exchanged, but not much came of it, though I can see something nags the lass fierce. She seems broken.
Not unlike me, really.

Spoke with Elias further one day. I asked him how to handle speaking with someone who seems hell-bent on bowing before you and being subservient. He suggested I should follow on it and be ordering them around, but even the thought of me behaving like some spoiled rich fop makes me livid. And I don't think acting like a drill officer would do me any favours with that woman I've hired. I'm at a loss at what to do and he was, expectedly, of no help in the matter. Like a deaf man asking a mute for directions.
I spoke to him about the mercs a bit, shared some tales. Then a dwarf came, turns out it was one of doc twigman's workers back in the day. He was alright.

Then we found the seaweed and went home, me with a full coin pouch, him with a few barrelfuls of stench given form. Back to the smithy, back to the pots, back to a timid, subservient woman.

It would be easier if I were born a rich fop. Then, I'd at least be the acceptable kind of arsehole.