Erikin, Diary Entry V ((The Haunted Burrow, tracking Radagast and the Forsaken Inn))
So off to the East it was, the Lone-lands. Went through Bree, where I found a nice painting artist and got a postcard for mother.
But before heading out there I received an invitation to get back to the Shire briefly, as some of my hobbit friends there had discovered a wooden door under Mr. Bilbo’s old home. Now, Mr. Bilbo is a very famous hobbit and went on a big adventure to the Lonely Mountain with many dwarfs a long time ago, amongst them Dwalin, Thorin and Balin (who later went to reclaim Khazad-dûm and is missing since). Hidden behind the door was supposed to be great treasure, things he brought back from his adventure. Ooh, it was so much fun in there! And with people from all the lands running around trying to find riches. Bilbo had put a great effort into setting up this supposedly scary and spooky place, with fake spiders and bats, candles, jacks-in-kegs, paintings with moving eyes, cobwebs or jugs full of bugs. It was not so scary but rather confusing to find your way around and several people, myself included, got lost. The worst thing was a warm puddle I put my hand in in search of a monocle one of the hobbits outside had lost and asked me to retrieve. It was also not that a lot of treasure was to be found after all (or I didn’t see any at least) but I was handed many hobbit tokens as a thank-you for helping the lost and frightened hobbits. Those I can then exchange for a nice looking horse in the Shire, if I have enough. When it was decided to close the “Haunted Burrow”, as it came to be known, I am sure the hobbits in the Shire were not too unhappy, especially those that had dressed up as ghosts or skeletons to frighten people and got a real spanking for their pranking.
Ah, speaking about horses. The inn-keeper, Mr. Butterbur, told me finally that Strider had left with a “Mr. Underhill” and some company. That could be Frodo Baggins and the other hobbits he was waiting for! And that another traveler, a Wizard, had come and wanted to talk to anyone who was looking for Strider. I went to see him and it was a Wizard alright, name is Gandalf. I heard his name before, some hobbits in the Shire had talked about him and that he can make the best fireworks. He looked the part of a Wizard too, with his grey robes, a pointed hat and a long white beard. In his presence I felt my spirits rise. But when even a Wizard is involved and wants to talk with me, this whole thing I had gotten into is surely a lot bigger than I could have ever imagined. I told him about the Witch-King, Skorgrim and Ivar and all I had learned, but he had his own tasks, “… upon which the fate of Middle-earth depends”… Yeah, right. And he placed the burden upon me to hinder the Witch-King’s plans! Argh, I should have never left home! What can I do about it! The only good thing about it is the friends I made and that they are attempting the same. Nevertheless, I do not think we will have any chance or idea how to do that, all we can do is go forward step by little step.
Gandalf said another Wizard, Radagast, had encountered something foul in the Lone-lands east of Bree, which might be related to this Ivar business. He does not know where Radagast is, but perhaps the rangers do and I should talk to one of them, Saeradan. He didn’t know either, but sent me to another ranger, Candaith, at the foot of Weathertop. As far as he knows that is where Radagast was heading, as he too saw and wanted to investigate the lightning that happened at that peak a few days ago. He offered his horse to take me there. I was reluctant at first, but then took the offer and it was the first time I ever rode one. I was sitting on the beast like wet rubble, holding on to its mane and trying hard not to fall off. Good thing was that was all I had to worry about as the horse seemed to have ridden that trail quite often and knew its way by heart.
It was a long ride and my dwarfsie hurt pretty badly when we finally arrived at Candaith’s camp. The Lone-lands are a barren and desolate place. There is hardly a tree or bush and yellow, burnt grass grows in the hollows and on the small hills. Straight through it runs the great east-west road and strewn on both sides of the road are many ruins of the old human kingdom of Arnor. I also saw a lot of black birds here again, probably more of the enemies’ spies.
Candaith didn’t know either where Radagast was, he wasn’t even aware that he had come to the Lone-lands. There were a few things I could help him with though, mainly concerning orcs that had set up camp in the Weather Hills. After those were dealt with he sent me to the Forsaken Inn to talk to the Eglain, a kind of reclusive, suspicious and shy human tribe. They eke out a living by collecting pottery shards and souvenirs that they find in those old ruins and then sell to travelers or people in Bree. They might know where Radagast is, but before I found out more, I got word from my friends who had gone ahead to Ost Guruth and located Radagast there. He had established himself in one of the towers in this old, ruined fortress which now serves as the main hideout of the Eglain.
The last night before leaving for Ost Guruth I had the chance to investigate those strange noises I had heard earlier in the Forsaken Inn. The Inn-Keeper, Anlaf, said we should wait until midnight and Brabbo (who also happened to be there that night) and I got pretty drunk waiting. I think I was dancing and hopping around like Tom Bombadil for a time… With midnight approaching, another Shireling joined us in our investigation. Or, I am not really sure if he was from the Shire, he was small and wore no shoes, but he had red skin, a feather in his hair, a bow and was called Sitting Bull.
As we went down, we found a hidden door at the bookshelf, where the wailing noises where to be heard again. Behind that we came into a huge, cavernous underground complex. A confused and slightly weird human, Umin, joined us there, staring at the first of many riddle-doors we had to open by reading the inscription and then saying the right word. That place was full of nasty traps, some skeletons that were attacking us, spewing forth from bone piles. We also found pages of a diary and learned from them that a band of outlaws had discovered this cave and made it their base. On one of their raids they took a necklace and the leader (and writer of the diary) appears to have gone mad over it, killing his people, building the traps and in the end died of lunacy or hunger. When we found his grave, Umin went up and was buried under a rockfall. We continued and went deeper underground (the traps becoming ever more dangerous), until we came to what appeared a dead-end. There was a lever there and when I over-hastly pulled it, a trapdoor opened, we fell into an underground river, were swept over a waterfall and landed in a huge cave, where a ship was moored. Woohoo!
We stepped on bord, all excited about the outlaws’ potential big treasure, when a door leading below deck opened and Umin came out. Must have survived the rockfall… And he had found that necklace. He said in fact that it was stolen from one of his ancestors by the bandits. The bad thing was it turned him into a madman too. He attacked us, as if he was afraid that we would take it from him, and that necklace gave him some great powers. He looked like a big red giant and was protected from most of our blows! When we finally beat him, he came back to his senses, but a ghost came out of the necklace, opened up the ships cargo which consisted of lots of sarcophagi, bone piles and even more skeletons fell out, chasing us around, the ghost flew back and forth between bow and stern, setting off spike traps everywhere … it was a total chaos.
When I woke up the next morning in the Inn, I wondered if it all was just a dream, caused by too much drinking the night before. But I still had the journal pages on me… I think we defeated the ghost in the end, and Umin remained on the ship, needing some rest. Don’t remember what happened to the necklace though, but with the ghost in it destroyed, it hopefully lost it’s evil power.
Well, off to Ost Guruth it was then. It was a beautiful hike actually and I started to enjoy the raw harshness of the land, although it was a bit hot and I got very thirsty. It felt like the end of the world here. I found my friends had already settled in in a large dormitory or sickbay kind of room with bunk beds, which reminded me of family trips we had into the Blue Mountains when I was a kid. I am a bit nervous though as I never slept in a room with women.
Last edited by Craiden; Nov 27 2013 at 06:46 AM.