14. Two strangers

S.A 1350

Everyone was heading up to have a look at room three and ten. They all remembered a diary with a locker in room three. Orneth was showing the group the diary key. Simawen was the first to mention that perhaps it was linked? Orneth remembered that Simawen was lingering at room three when they left, she could not help thinking that she was the one that had taken it. On the other hand, if she had taken it, why would she be the first to look for it?

There could be another option though. Could it be that a stranger that had followed them? There were citizens that knew the group was looking Manyamë and her son. Could it be someone that wanted to hide some traces? Why should they hide it? Orneth thought it was unlikely. They did not see anyone, nor did they hear any sounds or saw something out of the ordinary while they were upstairs.

They decided to spend the night at Golden Hope. Most of the group slept outside, but Orneth found a bench inside that she rested on. No one felt comfortable spending the night in the rooms. It had this weird energy and atmosphere. One could feel stress and helpless souls leaving in haste. Orneth looked around in the entrance. There were no pictures there, no decorations. It must have been stolen. She looked through one of the lead-glass windows which had different colors. The glass was somewhat thick and bulky, so she only saw shades of what was going on outside. She could have sworn that she saw movements outside moving from left to right and right to left.

She heard voices, loud voices and she stood up and her heart raise. Burglars? Thieves? or even worse; evil servants from the past. She heard Mannamo's voice and she could hear him talking, it did sound like a conversation. She walked gently out and she saw Mannamo, Marilo, Simawen and Mistamë talking to two strangers on their horses. Lady Lanyarë sat on a stone further away.

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Mannamo spoke "We are looking for someone." The stranger that was wearing a green robe softly asked, "May we be of any assistance?" Mannamo answered and showed him his map "We found a map in one of the rooms, we do think is linked towards someone we know, the markings may give us some clues" The stranger that looked a little older with scarred face examined Mannamo a little skeptical and said. "Hmm.. I have an idea where it is. If you want my honest opinion I wouldn't go there. There are robbers and thieves roaming the lands. The Prince and his men seemed to be enchanted with their work in the mountain, but most important creating powerful allies. Eregion has become more and more in disorder and the lawless exploits it." Mannamo paused and said, "Well, more the reason to go there. The one who made this map may be the son of my daughter and she is missing. He is also looking for her it seems." The ellon in green said, "Well, the guesthouse has been empty for a few days and we are still searching for traces. We thought your group was a party of robbers that is why we are here."

Orneth stepped a little closer and she met Simawen's eyes, as lovely she was Orneth could not help thinking there was something she was hiding.

Marlio asked the stranger,"Are you working as city guards?" They looked at Marilo, "No, we are an independent group of soldier's hailing from the western lands. We once were soldiers from Beleriands." Marilo widened his eyes, "So why are guarding this area?" They looked at each other saying, "Well, our lands do not exist anymore, but we have got reports of similar creatures we once saw in Ossiriand. There is definitely someone who is constructing disturbance again, but his name is unknown to us. It is not a safe place to be anymore. Our mission is simple, our purpose is to protect the civilians." Mannamo nods, "Are you working for the Prince?" They replied, "Yes, we do what we can keeping the lands safe around the city and the routes between the west and Eregion"

Lady Lanyarë walked towards the group and said, "Would you escort us to the settlement, where the markings are? I can't rest until I know where my daughter is. You once were soldiers, can you protect us if necessarily?" The soldier in grey robe said, "My lady..Well, we do not want to fight. They mostly keep things quite peaceful and civil. We do not want to provoke them." Simawen asked, "Who are they?" The soldiers looked at her, "Thieves mostly, outcasts of the eldar. Mostly elves from the west who has a high disliking for the Noldor because they blame then to have slayed their homes." Mannamo nods and said, "They dislike the Prince as he is a heir of the known names that destroyed Doriath and Havens of Sirion." The soldier nods, "Indeed, and I cannot say I blame them. Many have an idea of the good and the bad, but it truly depends on what side you are on."

"We could escort you to the camp, but I would suggest you think twice, maybe the Sindar Lady over there would join? It is more likely she would be accepted since she is a Sindar elleth" They pointed at Orneth, she knew she had a different look because of her height, eye color and the hair.

Marilo took Orneths hand and said, "She? Alone with those ruffians? No." Mannamo also chimed in, "It is to dangerous, we do not know enough about these outlaws. No offence, but we do not know to much about you as well." The solider looked at Mannamo and said, "It is really up to you. We just offered to escort some of you, but we cannot take a whole group as you may understand. Grudge from the past and the terrible events that happened in Beleriand runs deep. We do not want to be involved into a dangerous dispute. That is not our mission. We only want to keep peace around here. This is your mission. You decide what you want to do."