Sent before the Wayfarers entered Moria, via Atan’s raven.
This is a secret letter! And if you’re reading it, then I imagine it got to you safely. And secretly. I hope Nidhil’s not too angry I’m sending you letters through her address. Just don’t let anyone know. Especially Rosie and Wynne, because they’ll skin me alive.
Everyone’s alright. I’ll try not to die. We’re going into Moria – that’s where the slavers took Beacher. Arvorn says Moria is full of orcs, but it seems like everywhere is full of orcs these days, so there’s no point in fretting. Wynne’s told me all the awful things slavers do to their captives, so I’m more worried about Beacher. I don’t know how Will stands this. Sometimes he even manages to smile.
I’ll see if I can write you again once we get to the other side of this place. Unless I fall into a never ending pit. Then I won’t be doing any writing, probably.
Ha, only joking!
• • •
I’m sure Math has written you, so I’ll keep this short. We’re going into Moria after Beacher, and I’m wishing we won’t have to go much farther. Hope you’re faring well. I’m sorry.
Say hello to Ben for me? And tell him he has troll-breath – I can smell it from here. Tell Amy hello also. Be nice to each other! No fighting. [At this point in the letter Hallem has drawn an angry face to emphasize his seriousness.]
Otherwise I haven’t got much to say. No one’s dead! See you soon, maybe.
• • •
Sent from Caras Galadhon in Lorien.
Thank you for trafficking my secret letters. I know you disapprove. Don’t make that face! I mean it though. Thanks for looking after her.
You should know that during our stay in Moria we met a drake, and Gaelyn didn’t ride on it’s back. He’s showing so much self-restraint and as his shield-brother I couldn’t be prouder. Otherwise he’s being a dumbass, as usual.
• • •
Moria sucked. There was a fire-monster and bat-women and giant bugs and giant turtles and orcs and black death-pits and I wanted to turn around and leave but we had to keep walking to get to the other side of the mountain. It was an amazing place, though. Took my breath away, sometimes. Even so, I never want to go back.
Now we’re in Lorien, which is where elves live. Kait, you should see the trees. The rest of it is more beautiful than any place I’ve seen. But the trees. They’re huge. So huge that they’ve built their whole city in them. I want to live here. I would, but I don’t think the elves would allow that. And I’ve got people back home.
The elf-queen, Galadriel, gave all of us gifts. She gave me this neat shield. I really like it. Also she could talk to me in my head – it was kind of scary. Maybe I’ll tell you what she said, sometime.
The slavers took Beach into Mirkwood because they were able to get past the defenses of the elves. That’s where we’re going and I hear it’s bleak, but I’ll be careful. Not making any promises, though. You know me.