Notes Just Before Andrath

The small scout checked the horses and the tiny fire, now barely more than embers, that she was sharing with Cerrynt. All seemed in order, and they'd seen very little to trouble her in wildlife of late, either. Even the birds had seemed more curious than alarmed for the last several days. With such peace, and the time alone, she decided to start writing in her journal again. The discipline will keep me from dwelling too much on the wrong things, I reckon. So this is a lot better than just sitting and moping.

I'm writing this in the far north of Minhiriath. We'll cross into Andrath in the morning. It's a lot different from what Andrelanor and Cwynbur described, though not in terms of landscape. They were harried most of their trip. Cerrynt and I have been having a nice, peaceful time of it.

Well, aside from when I tried sparring with her after trying to explain brigands and bandits to her. That was funny, and explains how a skinny girl like her can use an axe that big. If she'd been taught with knives and swords instead, she'd fight a lot more like me. That axe of hers is her dancing partner against her foes. Probably a good thing for sparring with her that even as we've been going, with her shooting the occasional deer-type critter, and both of us fishing – and she's every bit as good at that as promised – she's barely getting enough meat back on her bones for proper fighting. I'm not sure how long she'd been starving before she dropped down in front of me on the trail to warn off a conflict, but I'm sure glad I took up with her. I'm not sure she'd have made it, else.

Be that how it may, though, our little sojourn down at Tharbad for fishing and cooking and such did us both a lot of good, and the horses, too. Got needed repairs done on my gambeson, even, with replacing broken discs in it and all. Gave us more time to try teaching each other words, and even structure of Kymru for me, and Westron for her. Not sure which of us is really doing better at that, even, for all this is language number seven or so for me, depending on what all you count as being truly different ones. She had more Westron to start from than I had Kymru.

Got me a nice surprise while we were doing that, though. She always knew exactly which way was back to camp. Probably better'n I did. Kinda useful, and will be good for her in Bree.

Of course, trying to teach her things about what Bree is going to be like is just making it clear how different her people's life is. Considering how some folks can be, even though I could afford to, I don't think I'll be putting her up in the Pony. Marney ought to have her place about done, or close enough, not to need my room in town any more. And if not, I'm sure I can convince her to use the one down in Hookworth for the duration. If it weren't for bandits and such, I'm sure Cerrynt would be as happy to just camp – but it isn't safe enough for her, I don't think. Not when I mean to leave her at least one of the horses, too, for getting around. Probably two, since horses need company.

And that, and how some of the gate guards can react to so-called Southrons, and the letters I got, makes me think I'll take her a bit more up the Greenway when we get up there. Show here where the better fishing spots are on the river and go in the west gate. I'm not entirely sure how Leoffrith will react to her, but if she's with me, it'll be a lot better than she'd get from the likes of some of those guards. Well, she may get a bit of stink-eye even there, I suppose, but at least Leoffrith should be about next after the guards. And I don't really think he'll judge her just for being from west of the Isen.

I reckon I'm going to have to explain better about coins and values and shopping at the market and in the Pony, though. That might get a little tricky. I hope Híril Cesistya is there, and knows more Kymru than I do.

At least coming in from the west, on horses that, thanks to Eogar, they've forgotten aren't their native kind, and with me along, she shouldn't get the sort of reaction that worries me. But I'll still need to watch out for her at first, I think. And be sure I get Marney tracked down. I'd best prepare a note to leave at that house, just in case.

And that's probably enough nattering and lost sleep for now.