In a forgotten museum, full of forgotten treasure, in a world long torn apart by war, a lone, aged hobbit wakes from his slumber with a start. The nightmare was something that has stayed with him for so long. He moves out to his stoop and looks out at the stars for a while silently puffing on his pipe. For a long time he stares out at them, remembering something long passed, and then he moves to his desk, unlocks a draw, and carefully takes out an old leather bound journal. He opens it and begins to read the free flowing text on the yellowed pages.
I used to be human…
It seems so long ago. I knew love and other happy emotions. I was a child; happiness innocence and purity were expected.
Like most however… happiness and innocence died. I remember the day, both faintly and intensely, like a series of watercolor paintings.
My parents were taking my siblings and me to visit an old friend of my father. We were traveling with a few other families headed that way in a caravan of sorts. The variags attacked us after taking out the watch and spooking most of the horses. We ran, for there was no hope in staying… half the caravan was dead. The fabled golden woods were beautiful… I remember… they will never be beautiful to my eyes again. We reached the gates of Caras Galadon, a sanctuary for sure my father had whispered to my mother… But they wouldn’t allow us in… my father argued with the guards but they had orders by their lord not to let any one in.
Ahtahkakoop… if all else is faded… the name burned in my mind… I swore that he and all the elves would pay for what happened to my family, what fate they put on us after they turned us out. The barbarians found us; they took me and my mother away from my brothers and father… the screams still ring in my ears… My mother tried to protect me… and so too died in front of my eyes. The blood dripped from the savage man’s blade and he dropped it as he looked at me and took me. Then all was dark.
There are only dark images of the time after, I only remember learning how to defend myself a little and how to be so stealthily quiet that no one could ever find me… the ways of a scout… or so I found after I escaped… the ways of a thief.
I don’t remember escaping well… I just remember the dagger I had grabbed from the latest raid… and taking it to his heart when he tried to take me after a feast.
I ran, and found myself wandering from city to city after a while… I was an urchin, ragamuffin, street rat… what ever you prefer… I begged and soon found it was easier to steal… I don’t know why I bothered… I was a broken person… only the stirrings of want for revenge kept me alive.
There were people then, faces that tried to help me, many faces… I only remember two with purely good intentions… The first I’m sure didn’t have pure intentions… but pure enough…
Fingol, a strange elf, claiming to be of the old high blood caught me rummaging in the saddlebags of a merchant and some how managed to get me into his private suite, cleaned up and well dressed. It is interesting to think that an elf actually helped me to kill his own kind, but Fingol seemed to have spent much time among men and acted more like one of them then one of his own kin. Soon enough though, his kin caught up with him and urged him it was time for him to go, so he departed the earth, leaving me alone in the world once again without mentor or guidance. The elves had stolen another person from me whom had cared for me.
So I was alone again with my hate, in the end, Fingol, though he had never seduced me, left me worse off—I was no longer a lone ragamuffin–I was a young lady with assets, ability, and a want for revenge. I made my way to a small town in the west, posing as a woman of high stature, staying at their inn by day… raiding their houses by night. My radius increased from the small city to other cities until I managed to set my sites on the mayor’s cottage in the nearby mountains. It would be my luck that a knight of The Order of the Swan was visiting and caught me creeping in the halls. He held me by my wrist and looked into my eyes and I saw kindness in his face. “I remember you…” He said, and let go of my wrist. “Get out of here and get out of this area… if you are so in need of help that you must steal, you can meet me in the forest around the elven city of Eurig Glaw and I shall help by teaching you.” I ran off into the night, grabbed my bags from Adornas and made my way to the Golden Wood…
Azoriel Stormseeker most likely put the most effort into “saving” me from the evil that had made its way into my heart. He eased my fears, my anger, he showed me things I would have never learned on my own. He was a good man, a good knight… listen to me, I make it sound as if he is dead… he is not, but I pushed him away. I blamed the elves, always the elves for my suffering. I could not get past it and as graceful and suave as Azoriel was to me, he could not save me, not with his worries of my well being, not with his heart touching care for the world around him and the lives he touched. I was not worthy for Azoriel or his sympathy… I hope he forgives me for my sins…. And keeps his hope and humour. In truth, Azoriel might have saved me… if not for the dark elf.
Taylen Reid Mithrenil I dare not utter or write that name again, he would know I did so. I was a fool in my process of pushing away Azoriel,l I pushed through a crowd and past that dark one. He hunted me down and left me for dead, reigniting the hate in my heart. I know now he fed off that anger and the rage that pushed me to take the blood I had lost from innocents. The downward spiral continued, I begged him to teach me, lessons of hatred and pain, lessons of a frozen heart. I might have been swept into the dark abyss that he showed me, and it tempted me: The evil that elf showed me was one of a thick variety, smooth as satin but poison to even the purest of hearts. I stepped upon that path briefly, hardening myself, letting my hate become strength and pain a weapon.
Then one day, as I was after a considerably powerful artifact in the Mayor’s mansion in a small town in Adornas. It was a dark evening and I had just broken in when I heard something moving in the drawing room, pulling my cloak around me I made my way to the room and found myself staring right at a hobbit of all things, claiming my loot. We spent a few minutes glaring at each other and then we heard the guards coming with the dogs. I dove out the window and he followed behind, but his short legs did him no good fleeing from the dogs. I grimaced but there was nothing I could do without both of us getting captured. There was something about him that made me want to go after him though, after all the turmoil of my life I suddenly cared about something besides my own hide and my revenge. I shadowed the guards as they hauled him to lockup and winced as they beat him and at dawn they hung him in front of the mansion. I made preparations, as beat up as he was I was going to have to get him cut down and ride all night to get him to him out of the country and a to a master ranger that could heal him. When evening fell I went to action, whispering to him as I cut him down.
“Looks like you need a bit of help eh Shortstuff?” I was nervous that he wouldn’t make it. Then he looked up at me and he said: “Took my loot you did Stretch…” And I knew everything would be fine. I gave him a drink of some of the stiff moonshine they sold in the alleys of that dirty town and put my cloak over him, mounted and road all night, with him passed out on my saddle.
I left him at a Tavern I frequented with instructions that he should be cared well for, and I wandered off for a while, pondering myself and my reaction to a being as insignificant as a hobbit. A few weeks later I came back to find him gone, with no word but a note instructing me to meet him at a small pub in a nearby village populated by hobbits.
Over time I began to be at ease with the hobbits, they didn’t care what I had done, they didn’t care about vengeance. Drakoe Softfoot… he truly saved me, of all the people who tried to save me, tried to “fix me” It was the childlike innocence and love of all things shiny that freed me from my self inflicted prison. I joined his group unofficially, thieves helping thieves, bringing me in contact with all sorts. Shortstuff and Stretch, Rosa and Draks. Time passed as it does so slowly, and I found myself feeling things I hadn’t felt for such a long time. It was like permafrost melting from a ground that had been barren for so long.
As is typical of my life however, happiness never lingers. As I snuck into an enemy camp to free a prisoner just a few days ago, my heart stopped. The hideous horrible man, the devil of a captain, he lived, and he had a sprite of a girl with him, I saw the look in his eye, the look he had every time he came to rape me. I could not risk our prisoner’s life, so I finished my mission and returned to base to ponder what I was going to do.
I slept uncomfortably for two nights, my emotions and hate bubbling inside of me. And now… now I have made my decision. I wish I could do otherwise… but I cannot allow for the girl to suffer as I have. I must face him. To my dear friends, all my love goes to you, I am sorry I am leaving you like this, do not cry for me, I must rectify some of the evil I have caused. And most of all, I thank you Drakoe and all the hobbits… against all odds, I have been saved, and you were the grace that did it.
He turns the last few pages and the tears flow through his eyes again as they have a thousand times before. The stars could never fill the gap she left, or heal the pain that she had felt all over again in her last days. He glances down again, reading the words he had written so long ago and the newspaper clipping that had gone with it. He stands up and looks out at the stars, leaving the journal on his desk, the last page open:
Rosado Mundhasu went to face her demons and did not return, we only know that in her struggle against the man who hurt her the most she succeeded in freeing his “harem”. We found her journal in her inn room. The Common Tater published the following obituary for her:
| Rosado Mundhasu
| This thief lived her name,”Daystorm”. Her life was full of pain
| and joy. Befriending few, but loyal to those she loved. May Eru
| see that love take her into his arms.