And the most current one, posted just today.
“Hullo, free peoples! Maedhroc reporting in. I hope this letter finds you safe and well; for alas I have been up to my ankles in danger.
I suppose I should begin in the Trollshaws. As you may recall, I was asked by Lord Elrond’s sons to help them find an unaccounted-for Black Rider who was swept down the Bruinen as they chased Mr. Frodo to Rivendell. Standing here at the Bruinen Ford at dawn, I can only imagine what the scene must have been like, with Frodo on Asfaloth’s back calling upon Elbereth to give him strength, while Lord Elrond and Glorfindel raced to the rescue. I am beginning to get the distinct impression that there’s much more to this world than I could have ever imagined when I was running mail in Michel Delving. Am I even the same hobbit any more?
The real danger when searching for a Nazgul is that you may just find him. I ended up joining a party of stalwart men and elves, led by Legolas Greenleaf, to confront the Black Rider as he twisted former ents into wood-trolls. It was quite heart-breaking to hew down these once-noble creatures, but they gave us little choice in the matter. The Black Rider fled, presumably to join his master in Mordor, but at least his power over the wood trolls was broken.
After reporting back to Lord Elrond, he asked me to deliver a message to a dwarf lord by the name of Gloin at a camp in the Misty Mountains. I believe he’s a relative of one of the dwarves I met in Rivendell, but I’m not sure which one. Dwarven genealogy is so byzantine that I find it confusing more than anything else. You may notice that I learned my lesson from the trip to Forochel and am now wearing a nice, warm pair of waterproof boots. I’ve already received grief from other hobbits, but I bet if they were tromping around mountaintops, they’d be doing the same!
I do have one rather surprising bit of news. That scruffy ranger “Strider” I keep running into everywhere? Apparently he’s Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and the person who would be king of Arnor, if Arnor still existed. He’s the last heir of the famous ‘Elindil’ that I keep finding all those statues of in Evendim, if you can believe it! I’m glad now that I was polite to him, for all his scruffiness. A king in exile is still a king, if you catch my drift. Anyway, he gave me a mission to respond to a distress call from some long-thought-lost Rangers in Angmar. (Angmar! Ack!) That took me far to the northeast, to a village on the very edge of the frontier. The enormous wall you see there? That’s the southern border of Angmar itself. What is the deal with that sky???
After all that, it was almost a relief to return to Evendim — tomb-robbers, wargs, killer elk and all — where at least it was occasionally warm and sunny. Unfortunately, my association with Lord Aragorn made relaxing for a while not really an option.
To re-establish the kingdom of Arnor, Lord Aragorn needs to reforge some form of ceremonial sword; I’m not real clear on the details. But to do so, he needs a particular stone that rests in the “Tomb of Elindil” (which is kind of a misnomer, because apparently Elindil died far away from Annunimas and his body was never recovered). So guess who was sent to recover the stone? Your friendly hobbit postman, of course. But there’s a little problem — the Tomb of Elindil was flooded by the “Blue Lady of Evendim” some centuries ago, so to get into it and recover the stone, I’ve got to go find her. Which means yet another swim across the lake. I wish I could just buy myself a boat!
Aww! Now that’s just cute.
Rushingdale, home of the Blue Lady. I have a bad feeling about this.
Yup, she’s blue all right! And more than a little rude, if I may say so, for all her demanding of respect. Perhaps people would be more courteous to you, Miss Uppity Water Spirit, if you didn’t sneer and snipe at guests in your own home. However, with a bit of groveling at her Oh-So-Spiritual feet, I managed to get her to raise the tomb so the stone could be recovered.
Fortunately, the rangers didn’t send me in there all alone. Of course, as soon as word got out that the tomb had raised, every grave robber in Evendim came running with a whoop and a holler.
What is THAT???
If the tomb raiders had a queen, this would be her. She was quite contemptuous of our claims to be working for the King of Arnor (which isn’t really surprising, I suppose), taking us for a rival gang of tomb-robbers I guess. A hard woman, but admirable in her own way. I regret to say that she forced us to defend ourselves, and was slain in the ensuing battle.
We finally made our way to the stone Lord Aragorn needs … only to find it a bauble in the nest of … whatever that is. 0.o It looks roughly like a turtle the size of a house, and bites like one, too. We were not able to overcome it and were eventually forced to flee empty-handed. I suppose the good news is that the stone is well-defended from tomb robbers until we can make another attempt … the bad news is that it’s just as well defended against us.
That’s all for now, my friends, and enough too! The stone still lies there in the Tomb of Elindil and we must make another attempt; but until we can muster our strength and possibly find a new tactic, I shall perform what other missions I may. I hope to write again soon.
Your friend in the Shire,
Honourary Shirriff Maedhroc Thornhollow”