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864, Winter's 42nd night,

I met the three Anstia men from the tavern on the Greatstone Pass. They arrived with a strange robed man. He hasn't talked much since we’ve been in the forest. He has been studying the trees very closely, like he is looking for something. Whatever it is he is not willing to give up. I am glad I only signed on to get these men through the brush. I hope to make it there before tomorrow's moon, for now I'll sleep with one eye open. I'm unsure if I should be worried about this strange man, or the chance of Parins or wolves preying on us.

The memories of the time began to resurface as he read through his notes. He remembered something seemed different about the black robed individual, and he felt the same about his hobbit guest.

864, Winter's 43rd noon,

When I woke up this morning the stranger with our party had disappeared, we searched for him all morning. Finally we found him by himself walking the forest. The fool only had a few books and a small hunting knife. When we found him he was at the base of a tree reading one of his books. Now more time has been wasted! We have to spend another night in this damned forest.

The Forest of Nim to be exact, a place he would undoubtedly have to visit once more, and his guest was eerily similar to that strange robed man. The robes, the strange stones, the books — especially the books.

864, Winter's 43rd night

I listened to the three Humans as they discussed the robed man today, they've been calling him The Black Robe, he seems to be the chaperone of the little trio. But I know he is more than a simple bookworm, any Dwarf would. The books he reads are far from ordinary, they're empty! Thankfully he doesn't know about my arm.

Back then Awkid hid his arm from others, instead he used an axe, because he didn't want to risk losing a job on his curse. He worked in Anstia, escorting travelers around the Southland. But eventually hiding his curse became more of a burden than the actual limb.

The End

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