Paths There and Home – The Letters of Rowlie Rushlight / Chapter 1

These are the letters of Rowlie Rushlight throughout his adventures in Middle Earth, penned by GrimJack21502.

Watch Journey into Middle Earth every Monday at 4pm Eastern on Twitch.

Gerald,

My boy, it appears that I have forgotten one of the absolutes of travel…The Road has no friends.

Our journey from Dale has not been an easy one, with hunger and despondence hounding our every step. I fear though that these ‘Wanderer’s Blues’ are not normal in nature and find purchase in the strengthening of the Shadow.

The Woodsman, Arvehlan, seems the most at odds with the trail. He holds his mask tight about his features but with observation, one can see that he is sorely vexed by the turning of the land. None blame him for the rough start to our journey, and truth be told if I wasn’t worried about my bent being mistaken for condescension, I would offer him words of support.

For ones as finely attuned to the Land as he and Mirel, the deepening Shadow must be particularly haunting. We must remember, my boy, that love and loss need not be limited to two-legged friends and family.

When time permits, please inform the Dwarven Embassy that we believe we encountered their ‘bird-killer’ near the edge of the Mirkwood. Together with my brief glimpse and Arvehlan’s fine tracking, we believe the creature to be a lone goblin, hobbit or adolescent human.

Also, if you could pen a note to Morgan, the King’s Advisor (or simply show her this letter if permitted an audience), telling her that Mirel spied a goblin and orc hunting party in Mirkwood where none should be seen. It appears, my boy, that these vile creature’s are getting bolder as the Shadows darken.

And before you start to worry, Mirel is fine. If I could describe to you the silence with which she passes through the forest, you’d realize your fears and concerns better placed in other matters. She is a singular creature, my boy, and I find comfort in the fact that her wisdom and strength help guide this party. However, she too carries a great sadness; a burden of survivor’s guilt. Perhaps this journey, more-so than any other, might provide her with a measure of solace.

But the road is not all rocks and hunger, my boy, for while it might not have friends, the Road likes its pride and pomp too. As I write this letter, I am smoking my pipe in the Halls of Thranduil, the Elven King.

Hardwin, the Man of Gondor, has been particularly struck by the absolute majesty of this land, which I find very comforting. You seldom meet a warrior that wears his heart on his sleeve, my boy, and rarer still is there a Man of Gondor that recognizes and admires the advances of other cultures. Hardwin, son of Hurwin, bears watching, as he is showing himself to be a fine example of his people.

This realm’s beauty and geometry I dare not describe; I have neither the words nor tongue for it, so instead I have included a simple sketch of my view. No tale does it justice, and I know this weak substitute is just that. However, I carry news that the two of us, you and I, have been granted permission to return by the Elven musician, Thalindra. As I said before, the road is bleak and unforgiving but this destination is one worthy of enduring such hardships.

I must go, my boy, as the Elves are preparing boats for our travel downriver. I shall give this to one of the traders bound for Laketown where I hope it can make its way to you.

Remember I have every confidence in you, my boy, and I look forward to telling you more when I return home.

With a proud heart,
Rowlie

P.S. Make sure all the lanterns are cold before going to bed…Fire is as unforgiving as the Road.

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