Mar 04 2009

Life of a Bounder, Part IX

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Last Thursday! Very close now.

January 26, 2009
“Hullo, everyone! Maedhroc here, taking a break from helping the Rangers in Annunimas to catch up on my correspondence. I should warn you now, this letter will follow a theme of the strange creatures of Middle-earth.

Maedhroc, wolf, and ... doe!!!

I was attacked by a wolf in Evendim — a common occurrence in that overrun land — when one of the peculiar elk of this region just wandered through the fight, apparently completely oblivious to our presence. This led me to two questions: first, what kind of insane elk wanders through fights? And second, what kind of insane wolf fights hobbits to the death when there’s a nice, juicy, and apparently clueless elk right there to eat?

Maedhroc in Forochel

One of my recent bounty-hunting trips out of Ost Forod took me so far to the north that I decided to take a detour and see some of the sights around the bay of Forochel. It was certainly beautiful, but I admit it: my toes were cold.

Maedhroc and the Northern Lights

I’d heard tales of the northern lights, but that doesn’t prepare you for the reality of it. I never thought I’d see anything as breathtaking as a rainbow in the Shire, but I may just have been wrong about that.

Maedhroc and an oliphaunt!

It’s an oliphaunt! A real, live oliphaunt! That alone made it worth the trip.

Maedhroc fishing in Forochel

Oh! I finally saved up enough gold to afford a faster pony than the rather sad (if pretty) creature I had before, but I had to go back to Bree to get it. I took a boat from Forochel down to Ered Luin rather than make the rather long overland trip back through Evendim, and stopped at a mountain stream to do some fishing. And yes, my toes were still cold.

Maedhroc riding Paladin in Evendim

Here’s my pony! I named him Paladin, after Thain Paladin Took of the Shire, old Pippin’s father. Splendid chap. And a splendid pony.

Maedhroc and dwarves in Giant Valley

Recently I met a party of dwarves, including two who were in the Valar Guild, who asked me to accompany them on a mission for Elrohir, son of Lord Elrond, to search for a Black Rider in the Trollshaws. This mission took us to meet Glorfindel, an elf lord of amazing age and power, and eventually we wound up looking for an Ent in a valley near Rivendell called “Giant Valley,” which was infested with all sorts of fell creatures, such as these trolls we are just about to attack.

Maedhroc vs. a drake

Here’s another of the fell creatures in Giant Valley, a horrible, winged, fire-breathing lizard! In my book that spells “dragon,” but my dwarven companions insisted that this was not a “true” dragon, but rather a “drake.” I don’t know what makes the difference, but it was certainly horrible whatever it was. I was very surprised when I knocked it senseless by giving it The Boot!

Maedhroc meets his first giant

So … I guess this is why it’s called “Giant Valley,” eh?

Maedhroc at a signal beacon

Eventually, it was time to return to Evendim, which I did via the North Downs. While tramping through the wilds, I came upon an old and all-but-forgotten beacon, probably dating all the way back to the glory days of Arnor, and decided to climb up it just for fun. Eat your heart out, Pippin Took!

That’s all for now. I hope to write again soon!

Your friend in the Shire,
Honorary Shirriff Maedhroc Thornhollow”

-The Gneech

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