The stooped dwarf scurried away from the rain and into the Greyflood, taking his place in an empty corner. He stared round at the room full of men and groaned. Tharbad was getting tedious. He'd tried fishing, but that was boring without anyone to talk to, and crafting at Lagnar's was fine, but he did not want to impose himself too often. He grinned suddenly, if there was no one interesting to talk to he could perhaps... yes... so much going on in the world and he needed answers. He pulled a handful of parchement from his knapsack, borrowed a quill and ink, and set to writing by candlelight, forgetting even his ale in his excitement.
To Rakhn Bloodbeard
The months have passed slowly since we last met, and the nights grow long and cold. I hope your travels have been all you wished for. I am looking forwards to hearing your tales of the Lonely Mountain. Please enlighten me, I have heard rumours that have concerned me greatly. My friend old Rumn on the Bree road has told me dire news from Erebor, brought to him by his kin. He told of poisoned ale and a dastadly theft. To think thieves could so easily slip into one of our great holds and commit such an outrage, this brings shame to all our people. I hope if you return soon you may tell me more on this matter. I lack news of our people and seem to be plagued by Elves and Men, without a Dwarf in sight. I very much want to know what Dain and the Dwarves of Erebor have planned to discover the culprits and avenge their heinous crimes. I wish our people were better united, outside our holds we are so few and far between. I have been thinking of carving some messages into the rocks outside Bree, ones only our folk would notice, so that all our travelling brethren could come together and perhaps pledge our support to Dain, over an un-poisoned ale or ten. When you return you will find me in the Greyflood, though I beg you hurry, Tharbad is a dark and worrying place, and I fear bad days will be upon it soon.
Since we parted in Imladris I have been a little idle. I have travelled some around Tharbad in the company of a Drughu, or Woseman, a wild creature, accompanied by a great wolf, whom I yet found a pleasant and worthy companion. It beats roaming with a bunch of Elves intent on chattering away in their tongue as though you were made out of glass. How I do miss you Rakhn my boy. You would have hated my last adventure, which would have tested your legendary patience to several hundred leagues past its’ explosive breaking point.
While outside the inn in Tharbad I encountered a group in heated interrogation of a watchman. It eventually transpired, after a very long time during which I became very confused and a little grumpy, that they thought to come to the aid of a lady, against the city authorities of Tharbad. The mayor and others are it seems corrupt in some way. After a most hearty meal in the Greyflood’s private dining room, we tracked the captain of the ship whom my companions, two elves, a hobbit, and a most entertaining Gondorian, bribed to get the lady’s destination. I still have no idea what all this is about and get a headache trying to think about it. The urge to bash-in orc skulls for a little light relief is overwhelming. You would have liked the Gondorian, who is weakest drinker I have ever met, but a good lad. One of the elves seemed a miserable and over-prudent sod, but perhaps I misjudged him. Anyway, not only are the city officials corrupt, but we perhaps saw a goblin on the streets of Tharbad! The creature was fast moving, but the right size, and I thought I heard the elves call it a goblin. I know three words of the Sindar tongue, “goblin”, “dwarf” and “idiot”, thanks to the barman at the Rivendell guesthouse, though luckily for his jaw the last two were not spoken in combination.
All this bodes ill, and I cannot wait to leave this Tharbad behind me. Men are weak and prone to evil, strange that their little ones are so innocent and full of joy, even in the poor quarters, yet they grow corrupt and ill-looking with age. It is a mystery to me.
Rakhn, I hope that soon I will be strong enough to make the journey to Erebor with you, I greatly wish to speak to the priest of Mahal who lives there. The journey is long and dangerous, and I fear I am not ready for it, especially not alone. I long to be amongst our folk, but as you know the Blue Mountains are as under a black cloud to me still. I hope this letter reaches you and finds you safe, and you heed my call to meet me in Tharbad.
Honour and Courage,
PS: Do you remember that elf Lomi-something you punched in The Pony? Have you seen him? I have a gift for him, partly in apology for my bloodthirst when we last met in Dunland, though I need to crack him on the jaw myself for suggesting I wanted to slaughter the little ones and women folk. I asked after him in Rivendell, but had no joy.
The old dwarf smiled. Now that was a better way to spend the evening. I wonder if I will bump into that Gondorian again, I'm so bad with names, Gae... drat! Not much good as an address, "The Gondorian whose name begins with G, can't take his drink, Minas Tirith"... Mmm... quaff... burp.