Good morning, March WardenElvellon, said
Legolas, stepping aside to allow his guests to enter.
The Elf and the Dwarf returned his greeting, then greeted his
ladyHaldir with a hand upon his heart, Gimli with a nod
and a gruntand the four friends took their places at the
Two days had passed since the accidental crew of the flying
ship, The Shieldmaiden, had returned from Caras Arnen,
and little more than a week since Eowyns carpet bag, with
the djinn inside, had fallen overboard, somewhere in the foothills
of the Ephel Dúath.*
As she served her friends with bowls of porridge, Eowyn was
smiling. She had grown very fond of the irascible djinn, and
felt responsible for his current misfortune. And although she
was sure, and Legolas agreed, that the djinnhaving bound
himself to her, as her servant, for the rest of her lifewould
return to her the moment some unfortunate passer by released
him, she was anxious to rescue him herself, and as soon as possible.
You are sure that you can find the place again?
Legolas asked the March Warden.
To within a few hundred yards, replied Haldir,
helping himself to some bramble jam.
So close? said Eowyn, who still found it
hard to comprehend the sharpness of Elven senses.
Fortunately, said Legolas, stirring jam into his
porridge, there are few trees in that region, and Master
Eldarwen assures me that there has been no snowfall since we,he
grinnedsince we flew away on our adventure,
so it should be easy enough to spot your bag upon the ground,
melmenya, andprovided the bag and the lamp did not part
company as they fellI see no reason why the djinn should
ever know that you lost him.
He patted her hand.
As they ate, the friends planned their expedition.
Haldir estimated that the trip would take at least three days,
and told them of a farmstead where the Men, he believed, would
be willing to give them shelter for a night or two.
Eowyn, who had made herself responsible for collecting reports
of orc attacks, and of any other incidents that might signify
a threat to Eryn Carantaur, confirmed that there had been no
recent sightings in the region. Though yesterday,
she said, Lord Caranthir told me of some strange stories
from farther east.
Strange in what way, melmenya? asked Legolas.
Eowyn laid down her spoon. It is hard to say, she
replied. Apparently, a pedlar, tramping along the Caras
Arnen Road, told Valandil of a group of freshly-dug graves he
had stumbled upon, somewhere north of the Doro Lanthron Hills.
A sheep herder, wintering his flock at foot of the Ephel Dúath,
has reported seeing strange tracks leading down from the mountains.
And a poor simpleton of Sad Lanthron has been terrifying the
local children with lurid tales of a skeleton riding past him
on a ghostly horse...
She shrugged. Caranthir has recorded all of these, but
neither he nor I can see what truth might lie behind them.
* Eowyn found the djinn in The
Strange Sea Road, and lost him in Westron