Paths There and Home – The Letters of Rowlie Rushlight / Chapter 2

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

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Gerald,

When you became my apprentice after those grim days in Lake Town, I recall that you yet held enough of your youth to still appreciate the old tales. I know you are far too old for ‘bedtime stories’ now, but if you will indulge an old man, I would tell you one anyway.

This ‘Redvale’ to which we travelled is, simply put, a tomb, but like only the most sacred spots of interred earth, it carries a story unshackled by the chains of the grave. We arrived to a ruin; one bathed in the white elvish mists of legend and ringed by the crimson, sap-soaked bark of the trees that no doubt aided in the naming of the village.

Our Ranger, Arvehlan, who has many stories of his own, reminded me of another. An Elf, Nestrien, and a Man, Siggurd the Lost, fell into a love doomed from the start; for even in a world of peace and calm, no Man can defeat Time as the Elves do. However in this tale, the Shadow found footing and any chance the pair had for some peace, however fleeting, was denied. As the tale goes, Siggurd quested to find a weapon capable of fighting the rising evi,l but, as his moniker suggests, he was Lost to both Nestrien and History. The red trees of this place are said to be soaked with the sorrow of Nestrien’s shattered love. I know not of that, my boy, but I will be bringing some of it back to Dale for testing. Ready my equipment.

The next I tell you not to scare you but to prepare you for a world of which I myself was not ready. We caught up to Rycroft, the King’s fallen advisor, and discovered her desecrating the great sarcophagus of who we believe to be the aforementioned Nestrien. This act, and this act alone, must have awoken the restless spirits of the ancient elves who appeared and attacked both our friends and our foes. We nearly lost Mirel and Arvehlan but luckily you packed my Medicine Kit well, my boy.

After a lively debate on the finer points of corpse transport, we were finally able to free ourselves of the cursed place and return again to the Halls of Thranduil, the Elven King.

I fear I have no ending to this story because I do believe this tale still well in its infancy. We are returning to Dale, so in preparation for our arrival, I would ask that you begin construction of another Medicine Kit.

Finally, I do not want you travelling outside the city until I return. Bedtime Stories have left the page and now stalk the earth, my boy, and I do not wish for you to become a tragic chapter of this tale. Your time will come, perhaps sooner than either of us think, but at this moment, I want you to focus on your studies, practice your poultices, and gather our stockpiled resources.

I return with our new friends on whom I feel confident we can rely and trust.

And if there is one thing the Shadow fears, it is a fellowship.

With a proud heart,
Rowlie

P.S. Under no circumstances are you to mention the bodies of the grave-robbers…or boats…or carts.

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