Chapter 26: Shadowing the Trail Gilglir shares a few quiet words with Elladan and Elrohir in the grey dawn before making his way back to the company's campfire. He looks around at them for a moment before nodding. As he sits next to Taylarin, he speaks quietly with her in the Elven-tongue as the others begin to stir. Turodhor shifts slowly and sits up at the sound of speech and movement Bialver slowly opens his eyes, and wonders about breakfast. The sensation of smoke getting in his eyes reminds him he's no longer in Rivendell, but at an elven camp Gilglir finishes speaking with Taylarin and looks around at the others. 'Eat and make yourselves ready,' he says quietly. 'Once the sun is fully up, we will go our ways again.' Trumodir stands and stretches out her muscles. Turodhor rises and nods, pulling on his armor and gathering food to break his fast with Minabel finishes braiding her hair onto the top of her head and takes the last few nibbles of her stale bread. Bialver whistles for Utsending, and sees to her tack and breakfast before he packs he sets a few elven cakes near the coals to warm, dons his armour, and repacks his knapsack Gilglir shakes his head at Bialver as he eats a piece of bread. 'We will leave the horses here this day. From here on, we go on foot through the hills. They are no place for a steed.' Turodhor looks up from where he sits slicing a wheel of cheese, "I cannot say that I shall be disappointed by such a change. It is on foot or on the rolling decks of a ship that I belong." Minabel looks at Brianna. "Do you think our horses will be safe here?" Trumodir takes in Gilglir's words and goes to check on Marr's food and water Bialver frowns but makes no rejoinder. He walks Utsending towards the two elven brothers, talking softly to her. A few moments later she's unsaddled and wandering curiously about the camp, and the Beorning is stuffing a number of oddments into his pack. Gilglir smiles at Minabel. 'Breglobor will care for them as if they were his own kin. You have nothing to fear.' He glances at the others for a moment before continuing. 'We will be splitting into two companies for a short while. Bialver, Trumodir, Turodhor, and Minabel will come with me, while Ortrun, Eskild, and Greenstand will go with Taylarin.' Turodhor nods and places his helm upon his head as he stands. "Aye, so be it." Trumodir asks, "What is the plan? What direction shall we go?" Bialver whispers to his kinswoman "Then we not want for good advice about the colour of our hair ribbons" Gilglir takes a drink from his waterskin, and then says, 'Our company will head north into the hills from here. We will follow the trail of our enemy, while the others will head west along the road and come up another valley. I suspect I know whither our quarry flees, but I do not want him to slip by us.' Turodhor grips the hilt of his sword more tightly, but nods. Trumodir continues, "And what signs shall we be looking for? If this Nazgûl is unbodied, how will he leave signs on the land he passes through?" Bialver murmurs to his kinswoman in the speech of their home <V> "I think you will feel them. I do not envy you that" Gilglir glances at Taylarin before giving Trumodir a long look. 'The Gwetherain leave horror and terror in their wake, even among the birds and beasts and trees. They will tell us of his passing. As well, he leaves tracks which my eyes can see as plain as if we tracked a bear through snow or mud.' Trumodir replies quietly, <V> "That is certainly true, yet I hope for physical signs as well" Bialver muses, as though to himself "What material signs does terror leave in its wake? Creatures cowering who should be merry, nuts not gathered for the coming winter...." Turodhor looks up in concern, "Terror in the hearts of the boldest and of gentlest animals. We heard rumor of such things before Osgilliath fell once more." Bialver continues "...fledglings too old to be fed, but not yet left the nest. I think we shall see physical signs indeed." Gilglir nods in agreement as the others speak. 'All this, and more beside. Taylarin and I have both faced these foes before, and we know the signs.' The elleth nods and smiles slightly beneath her hood. Gilglir stands and buckles his sword-belt around his waist before fixing his pack under his cloak. He leans on his unstrung bow as he looks at the others. 'Shall we go?' Turodhor says, 'Aye, let us be off.' Trumodir nods silently Minabel gives Brianna a last pat on the side of her neck. "Bye baby pony. I will be back soon." With that, Minabel gathers her pack and prepares to follow the others. Bialver shoulders his pack, checks his weapons, and makes a silent after-you gesture. Gilglir nods to Taylarin and says something in Sindarin, which she responds to in the same language. The ellon smiles slightly, and then turns to lead his company out of the ruins and down the valley to the north. Trumodir slings her pack on her shoulder and follows warily Turodhor adjusts his pack, pulls his cloak tighter around himself, and with one hand already gripping the hilt, he sets after them, head swiveling Bialver brings up the rear, head swiveling, and nostrils snuffing the mountain air Gilglir leads the company up a valley which winds its way between steep tree-clad slopes. As they go, the air seems strangely silent, as through the birds and beasts have fled. From time to time, the Elf stops and lays his hand against the trunk of one of the trees, speaking soft words none of them catch. In this manner, the day passes on to a dusk which swiftly falls on them. Gilglir begins to set up a camp in a sheltered hollow as the first stars begin to peep out. 'Make yourselves comfortable. We will wait here until Taylarin and the others join us.' He settles himself down onto the ground near their small fire. Turodhor sets down his pack and huddles close to the fire, sword across his knees Gilglir looks around at the wilderness. 'I think there was not even any need to send them out,' he says. 'It seems clear to me that he is making for the Gladdalf, as I suspected.' Turodhor looks up with a frown, "The Gladdalf?" Bialver steps away from them, facing the darkness until his eyes have adjusted. His attitude is that of one listening hard for something he hopes not to hear. Trumodir sits down carefully with a thoughtful expression on her face and visible tension in her body. Minabel looks around apprehensively. "I hope we do not encounter it tonight" Gilglir glances at Turodhor before understanding. 'Ah, my apologies. You would call it the Woodfen. It is a marshy glade to the north, and a haunt of wood-trolls.' Turodhor nods slowly, "Ah, I see. I have not heard tale of such a place in my travels, but such news bodes ill." Gilglir gives the others a look of concern. 'Please, take your rest,' he says. 'Neither our quarry nor the trolls shall trouble us this night.' Turodhor leans back and closes his eyes to sleep Bialver prowls in a circle around their small camp, a dark shape just out of the firelight Trumodir continues to sit by the fire, absolutely still, fully alert. There will be no sleep for her tonight. Gilglir sighs as he watches the others. He begins to sing softly, his voice weaving images of sleep, murmuring waters, the whisper of wind in the boughs of trees, and the light of the moon glancing through windows. A sense of peace and safety flows over the others.