First, it's Spring Festival time!
Duty is duty, but even the most stalwart keeper of the peace must be allowed to enjoy the fruits of his labor from time to time. So it was that I rode to sunny Bree to enjoy the new Hedge Maze. Quite impressive, and fun to boot. :) I managed to get my maze-racing time down to just over two minutes, much to the annoyance of the "maze-master" who sent me in there. And I won quite a nice trophy!
How do you like my festival hat? :)
Someone must have had a little too much Festival Wine, because they've been sending me a never-ending stream of blueberry tart recipes in the mail, signed "A Secret Admirer." Honestly, if you're out there, I appreciate the sentiment, but I can't cook worth a tarnished penny and all these recipes are wasted on me.
I have a sneaking suspicion it may be Lobelia Sackville-Baggins.
Eventually, the fun was over and it was back to work. I joined several members of the Valar Guild on a foray into the depths of Garth Agarwen, to finally confront and, if possible, redeem the Red Maid, once known as the river-daughter Naruhel. It was no easy task, as centuries under the dark influence of Angmar and Mordor had made her a creature of the most fell power.
Corrupted and evil yes ... but she was still more polite than the Blue Lady of Evendim.
The fight was long and bitter; at the end she seemed to melt away into a pool of water, leaving only her dress behind. Being a tailor in my off-time, I claimed this for study.
Interesting ... er ... weave?
I returned to Rivendell for a new mission and found myself sent to the abandoned dwarf-city of Helegrod, where the Nazgul I've been chasing for what seems like months had finally been tracked to.
This can't be good. Even a Nazgul should know to let dead dragons lie!
No, no, we'll have none of that. CHARGE!
Remember ME, Mister Undead King? I've come a long way since our first meeting in the Shire! Back to your master in Mordor!
Oh no you don't! *BOOT!*
I wish I could say we were completely victorious; it's true we sent the Nazgul fleeing home to Barad-dur, but the dragon Thorog was raised as a wight and flew off to wreak who-knows-what-havoc? I hate unfinished business, and I'm sure I'll return to Helegrod sooner or later to deal with this ten-ton loose end.
Nevertheless, ridding Eriador of the Nazgul has provided a bit of respite and allows us to hopefully start making some headway against the enemies of the Free Peoples. In Rivendell, I was asked to see Mr. Frodo, Lord Aragorn, and the rest of their party off on a mission of some particular importance which had been waiting for this opportunity, although I'm sketchy at best on the details. I gather they're headed south ... possibly to escort Boromir back to Gondor?
Er ... you are joking, right Mr. Bilbo?
Little did I know that I was shortly to follow them to Eregion. But that tale will have to wait, as this letter is getting quite long, and I must leave you now to help a party of dwarves who hope to reclaim their ancestral home of Khazad-Dum.
Your friend in the Shire,
Honourary Shirriff Maedhroc Thornhollow"