Writing Home: Wargs and Tombs

Ridia,

Hell of a time in Angmar. Glad you weren’t here, it was a real pain in the arse. We went to some tomb, real dark and nasty, to meet up with another former Wayfarer. This one was an elf, name was Rainercar or something. Everyone called her Rain, though. Feel bad for the newer Wayfarers, they’re getting introduced to all the weird ones: that guy who betrayed you all apparently, a drunk Hal, and now this Rain elf who really didn’t seem to care much what happened to anybody.

Someone triggered a big trap and a bunch of nasty stuff got dunked on us. Slime or something. Real nasty. Unfortunately a couple people got poisoned and Bitra got the worst of it by far. We kept pressing on, though, cause Rain insisted on getting some journal or whatever. Finally found it but then a bunch of wargs appeared.

Could’ve gone my whole life without knowing that wargs can talk. The leader was a real mean one, red, could talk. Had a big grudge against Oendir, apparently he killed her father or something. Even offered to let us all go, except for him, but no way were we leaving him there with a bunch of wargs ready to rip him apart. Thankfully Garrett got Gil and Bitra to agree to leave though, so they were safe. Obviously the rest of us made it out okay too, considering I’m writing you right now.

As thanks for helping get that journal, Rain gave everyone a gem. Seems real special, she said it was crafted in Eregion. Looks special and even Oendir seemed to act like these were priceless or something. Not exactly something I feel like carrying around who-knows-where, so I’m enclosing it here for you. Maybe I can smith something with it when I get back.

Bitra’s looking real bad but the healers here say she’s going to be alright. Just needs some rest. The others that got hit with the poison are doing good, too. Apparently we’re going on a real long trip next, so we’re just healing on up before hitting the road. Miss you every day, babe. It just isn’t the same without you.

Os

Writing Home: Hobbits and Hal

Ridia,

Things keep getting weirder and weirder. You would’ve loved tonight, and I wish you were here. We’re in the Shire, right on that party hill where we got married. There was some ceremony for a warg fight, apparently happened a decade ago. Shoot, where was I a decade ago? Probably getting drunk and teasing Frank or something.

Anyways, it wasn’t much of anything — we just happened to be in the area — but then we had to go rescue the food from some fool tweens. Crazy part of that was that Hal was with them. Of all people! Drinking and having a good time and all that. It was real funny: Oendir convinced them we were all elves and that he put a curse on them, so they ran off. Took all I had in me to not bust a gut laughing.

Hal’s doing alright. Hoping he’ll head on back to Bree, like Oendir was asking him to. Think he could do with some head-on-shoulders putting. Ceremony was alright, boring with speeches and stuff, like usual. Food was real good too.

Shoot, this is a boring letter. Then again, it’s the Shire. And hobbits. How exciting can it get, right? Well, minus that warg stuff anyways.

If it wasn’t already past midnight, I’d ride Bess on home right now, even if I had to turn right around and head back. It’s only a couple hours’ hard ride, if you do it right. Got to get to bed though, instead. Being so close but so far is annoying. Just want to curl up in bed with you for a week. (Don’t let Jaemy read that part.)

Love you,

Os

Writing Home: The Old Forest

Ridia,

Ran across Eirikr this time, which was right nice. Well, except for where we ran into him: the Old Forest. Bugger spends more time in here than I thought he did, given how easily he just wandered right through it. He’s doing good, gave Oendir a small ring for his token… was real surprised to see that, but hey, considering I left my pendant up on Weatherhill, I don’t got much room to talk.

The Old Forest is a pain in the arse. We were wandering around looking for a big flower (the kids found it with Godric), but then the forest… put us to sleep or something. Was real weird. We all passed out and woke up all over the place, but good thing Sirifast and Oendir were nearby. Found them and we made our way back. Had to go past some big old tree. Oendir called it “Old Man Willow.” Stupid thing made Sirifast pass right out, falling into the water, but we carried him out. Don’t know why it bugged him so much, I didn’t feel anything.

The kids got leeched all over, seems like Gil got the worst of it. Bitra, too, but she kept them all together somehow. It’s real good Godric was with them. He and Eirikr got them out, and found that huge white flower. Thing was taller than me!

Drew a small picture of it for Jaemy. Tell her to imagine it’s as big as me, because it was. Miss you a bunch. Garrett’s an okay person to share a tent with, but he ain’t you. Really wish you could be here.

Love you,

Os

Writing Home: Dead People Should Stay Dead

Ridia,

Well, it was definitely drier. Probably too dry. Some crazy shit went down yesterday. We got word about Cardolan and someone trying to fix it all up. Made it real obvious it was a Wayfarer, too, so we went on to do that and get a token. Apparently it was some guy named Rennec. Real mercenary, that one. But hey, he helped us with a token and we helped cleanse that pile of rubble, so that’s right good for me.

Cardolan was, don’t act so surprised, full of dead things. Wights. Gaunt-lord. Fun stuff. Why can’t dead people just stay dead? I’m alright, don’t you worry none. Got knocked over and dragged around by some magic chains, but it’s nothing big. Bitra already cleaned me on up and gave me some bruise salve. You trained her real well, love. I know you were talking about not being sure you would be any good at it, but you are.

Oh, yeah. And that Cirieldis woman from Dol Amroth showed up. Apparently she can turn into a swan. She and some other swans ripped apart some of those wights. Never thought I’d see that in my life. Right weird, really.

I miss you all more than I can write. I’m not a poet or anything. So I sketched something real fast for Jaemy, instead. Don’t got time for painting, or supplies, but it’s a right nice view here and I thought she’d might like it.

Love you,

Os

Writing Home: Swamps Stink

Ridia,

Did you know that swamps stink real bad? We had to go trudging through the swamps in the Lone Lands and it was awful. Apparently there’s some kind of earth-kin people and they gave us directions to go talk to a swamp-witch to get a token from her.

Hey, did you know that the Commander’s got another son? Well, I don’t think it’s blood relations — he’s half-orc. Anyways, he helped us get there. Man, that swamp-witch was ugly. Gave us some rabbit foot or something, so hopefully the trip wasn’t a waste. Told Oendir some weird prophecy about being successful helping Fionwe but not coming back from it. That’s probably a load of crap, though. She’s just mad because that half-orc kid threatened her into helping us.

Gonna take a day or two of washing my boots before they stop stinking.

Cor, I miss you so much, babe. Hope you’re all doing alright there. Don’t know where we’re off to next, but here’s hoping it’s somewhere dry.

Os

The Talk

“Hey, Os.”

“Hey.”

“Um, got some time t’ talk?”

“…Yeah. Yeah, c’mon in, Kimby.”

“Thanks. Um…before you start yellin’ at me, I just wanna say I don’t think I did anything wrong.”

“And what makes you think I’m gonna start yellin’ at ya?”

“I mean… I ‘magine you’re prob’ly pretty pissed.”

“And why ‘d I be pissed?”

“I dunno. You’re my brother. It just…seems like somethin’ that’d piss ya off.”

“Well, yer wrong. And I a’ready told Frank yer both adults. Be together ‘r don’t. I dunno what ya two even want from me at this point.”

“Maybe t’…have you be happy ‘r somethin’?”

“I’ll be happy when I can wrap my damn head ‘round it, a’right? I just… ‘S weird, okay?”

“I mean, I kinda get it, I freaked out at first too, but why’s it this much of a problem for you?”

“Seriously? You’re seriously askin’ me this. You’re my sister. He’s my best friend. Pretty much like a brother t’ me. It’s like my brother an’ sister are together, and that ain’t right.”

“Well, we are and it is.

“I ain’t tryin’ t’ break you two up. Why’s it matter so much iffen I approve? You’re gonna do whatcha want anyway.”

“Oh, I dunno, Os. I mean, you’re kinda one ‘a the most important people in our fuckin’ lives or somethin’.”

“Maybe gimme more ‘n a few days before breakin’ down the door and askin’ why I ain’t sendin’ you flowers, then.”

“You are so immature sometimes!”

“Fer once, Kimby, I’m honestly bein’ calm about somethin’ that’s botherin’ me a bunch. Just…get out if you’re here t’ yell at me t’ do…I dunno even know what. Carin’ too much, I guess.”

Carin’ too much??”

“Yeah! ‘Cause if ya two don’t work out, guess who gets stuck in th’ damn middle?”

“And you’re just so certain we ain’t gonna work out, huh?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“But you’re thinkin’ it, Os. You’re thinkin’ it.”

“No, I ain’t.”

“So…what, we just need t’ avoid ya for a while, until you’ve decided yer over it?”

“At this point, I’d settle for both of ya not shovin’ week-old relationship sex in m’ face.”

“Frank panicked! Thought you were gonna… wait, week-old? What are you even talkin’ about?”

“He came t’ me just last week, askin’ permission t’ date my sister. What’re you talkin’ ‘bout?”

“I… We’ve… Oh.”

“…How long, Kimby?”

“…’Bout a…month ago? Had our first date. He didn’t…?”

“No…”

“…Well, there ya go. Yeah. S’ been about a month since I kissed ‘im. It all just kinda…fell int’ place from there.”

“Since ya kissed ‘im? Was that even a fortnight after ya ran int’ each other here?”

“Listen, I ain’t gonna sit here and justify m’self t’ you.”

“Ya met your childhood rival then two weeks later you’re throwin’ yerself at him, and ya don’t think that requires even a lil’ bit of justifyin’? Kimby, what the bloody hell are you doin’?”

“I dunno! And I was not throwin’ myself at him. I just kissed him. And… I couldn’t ‘splain it, anyways. It was…”

“Was what?”

“Ya know how a magnetic piece ‘a metal flies and sticks t’ another piece…?”

“…Yeah.”

“Was like that. I can’t put it any other way and I ain’t gonna bother tryin’, either.”

“Kimby…”

“What?”

“I need some time, a’right? Just…time t’ wrap my brain ‘round it.”

“Fine. I… I didn’t expect things t’ go this way, but… I’m real glad they did.”

“I’m still right mad at ya fer not tellin’ me sooner, but… Get over ‘ere.”

“D’ya really think me tellin’ you a month ago that I was thinkin’ of kissin’ Frank would somehow have made th’ situation better for ya?”

“Yeah, ‘cause I could’a locked ya inside yer room.”

“Ya do know I figured out a way t’ sneak outta there by th’ time I was twelve, right?”

“…I did not. What else ‘re ya hidin’ from me?”

“None ‘a your business, big brother.”

“Fair ‘nough. But… Kimby. I gotta say this: if he hurts you, I’ll kill ‘im. If you hurt him, I’m never forgivin’ you.”

“I’m not too worried ’bout that.”

“That makes one ‘ve us.”