My mind is a fog...
My vision is blurred...
My hand is unsteady, but still I must tell..
...Of the creature whose anger I've spurred...
Long has my kinship been in preparation for a journey into Moria. There is an evil that stirs below; one that has silenced the trees, and driven the animals mad with fear. We aim to stop it, though we know not what it is yet.. I know it is down there though, for I have felt it's malice each time I pass through the gates with my friend, Athrimn... It seeks him.
...It lusts after his power.. The power he and Apostos share..
That ancient ability once used by Elven Smiths to craft the Rings Of Power: That of a Rune-Keeper.
But my kinship knows of this, for I have already told them. I write for other reasons; to alert them of a more present evil, lest I haven't the chance to speak of it to them myself.
We have long known that something haunts the steps Athrimn has taken. It follows him wherever we travel, until we travel into Moria's depths, then it deviates and seeks the path trodden by Apostos instead. I can't pretend to be ignorant of the connection between this hunter and the evil that stirs below... I believe it sent her to capture the Rune-Keepers.
Recently, I have discovered the identity of this hunter, but through no easy means.
I tried breaking from Athrimn's company and tracking her as she tracked him, but she was too illusive. Her steps have been light, and often she leaves the ground and goes on through the trees, or the river.. After speaking with Skalithor and all of you about it, I decided to try a different method-- To bait one's prey to you is a Hunter's last resort, because it is dangerous for all who are involved.. I know I have too often suggested it in previous ventures, when patience and wise planning from Skalithor made it unnecessary. This time, however, he was not there to caution me otherwise and I went ahead with it...
I left Athrimn in Moria, and beat his hunter back to Apostos' trail. I concealed hers and I set carefully a fraud path, then employed the boy Taivian to assist me. We were in Greenfields, near the road which leads to Evendim, and there Taivian replicated the energy a Rune-Keeper emits when they summon a rune.. The hunter was successfully fooled, and knowing Apostos is often alone, came into the open to retrieve her... I doubt either Taivian nor myself were truly prepared for what we saw, and we shall not soon forget it:
The beast is one of Ungoliant's dreaded offspring!
A giant black spider, with blood red coloring on her legs and back! I could not believe something as horrifying as what we beheld had been roaming freely in the Shire, nimble enough as to have gone unnoticed for so long... Yet she was not as her predecessor, nor as her sister, Shelob. This spider was lithe, and moved as quickly as a regular sized arachnid.
She saw us while she was yet on the hill, but knew that if she turned, we would pursue her... It enraged her that she had been so easily deceived by an Elf and 14 year old boy. She cursed us our arrogance in interfering, and swore to devour us in a manner that was most unpleasant and does not bear repeating....
...In my defense should Tarvhos and Silverfeather ever find this, I had ordered Taivian home after he completed his spell. I could feel the monster's excitement, and knew she was coming quickly. If Taivian had listened to me, he would have been able to escape before she arrived... ...Yet it is to his credit, for though he refused, he was not frightened of her and stood with me, prepared to attack.
The details of this battle would take too long to write, and already the pen feels heavy in my hand. Let it suffice to say that between the two of us, we were able to drive her back, yet she did not leave without bestowing upon me a gift of parting. By then we had already wounded her badly, but before I could loose the arrow that would have finished it all, a sudden rage took her and renewed her strength. She tackled me to the ground and hissed her name into my face, swearing that in the final moments of my slow and painful death, I would remember it.. Then she struck me with her stinger.
I have no doubt that she was aiming for my heart, only thanks to Taivian, she penetrated my shoulder instead, and was forced to retreat with a lightning burn upon her back.. I tried to pursue her, but upon standing, my strength suddenly failed me. Quickly, and with yet more help from Taivian, I was able to clean and medicate the wound. Afterward, it healed surprisingly quickly, so we thought little more of it and sought to return to the Kinship House....
....I realize now that I have been poisoned, but the effects of that do not trouble me as greatly as the words the monster spoke during our battle:
She said she knew of us, and she had seen and watched us, all whom had ever spoken to the Rune-Keepers. She claimed she had followed a "drunken man" to where we live and reported it all to her back master. He knows the name of MountainZephyr and despises it.. Then, during her retreat, she swore her master had plans for our little kinship, and that she would yet see us destroyed....
...I know I have made a mistake, perhaps, in drawing this creature out. The time we have left is now slimmer than before, or will be when this vile monster returns again to Moria..
I am too weak to try and thwart her march, and have forbidden Taivian from doing so.. I discovered sometime later, during a battle in which I aided Orinmur and another in the defense of Gondamon, that the effects of the poison increase with my heart rate..
For now I am calm, and do not feel as ill, but I will not write anymore...
I say only this to my friends still travelling abroad in preparation of our journey:
Beware Nilithion, The Rune-Hunter...
I do not know when she will choose to strike again.
P.S Skalithor, I beg of you not to be angry with Taivian. I owe the boy my life..
..And as I know you are undoubtedly angry with me (and have every right to be)... Please do not lecture me until I am feeling better. I will not be able to hold my own against you the way I am feeling now.
Your (hopefully still) friend, and faithful idiot