[Thank you to Cirdoliel and Eadirin for this RP. We continued to remain on a map friendly to lower levels while progressing with our arc set in Eregion.]
They retrieve the body after its steep drop, moving deftly under night's cover. Beasts trail after them, drawn to the scent of death, but it is a relatively easy matter keeping them at bay once they find an abandoned den on the Sirannon plain. Within, Cirdoliel and Finnehas stash the bundled corpse and waited for Eadirin to rejoin them.
This he does soon enough, and, still reeling from their ordeal at Porth Cadlus, Cirdoliel and Finnehas proceed to remove the coverings and bindings from the body so that Eadirin can study it.
Eadirin looks carefully ''A periannath, in his early middle ages. Based on its hair probably a stoor. Cause of death is a deep wound on the throat. The wound is not clear, it could be caused by an overused blade, or an orc blade as well, as it meant to rip the flesh rather than cut it.''
The poor creature's clothes are that of a farmer, well-matched, once perhaps even smart, now ripped and smeared with blood.
Finnehas says, 'Is it the traitor?'
Cirdoliel eyes would dart between the two waiting patiently for the answer.
Eadirin inspects further ''There is proof that the poor fellow was kept as a prisoner. you can see that there were ropes around his wrists'' he points at the small hands of the halfling. ''There are whiplashes on his face too. He must have been suffered too much. Poor fellow. Death was a true gift for him.''
Eadirin confirms that it is not the halfling they seek, but likely one of his unfortunate brothers. They proceed reluctantly to search the halfling's pockets, finding nothing of note, until ...
Finnehas takes out his dagger again. 'Wait, the lining of his cloak feels uneven, unless it is the work of a tailor with poor skill.'
Cirdoliel eyes widen as she looks to Finnehas with intrigue. "Can it be he has hidden something?"
Finnehas holds a corner of the cloak out to Cirdoliel while he unpicks the threads closer to himself. 'Let your trusty blade assist, good hiril.'
Cirdoliel unsheaths her dagger and flinches a little at the redness of the tip. Wiping it against her belt she kneels down and takes the edge of the cloak from Finnehas. With one swift motion she digs the tip of dagger into the material and makes a straight cut down along the side.
Cirdoliel says, 'Hm, there seems to be nothing- oh. Wait, there's something of discolour inside.'
Finnehas follows the decisive cut with the swift removing of stitches, as a seasoned tailor does, along the edge closer to him, so that the discoloured fragment, loosened, flutters out, landing at Eadirin's feet.
The object is a small card that bears the image of a white hand against a dark background. On the reverse side is what appears to be a map of sorts, with two crosses drawn, one behind what looks like a door, in the east, and the other within what resembles a tower, in the south. But the elves have more questions than they do answers, and with the body of the halfling providing no further clues, they decide to honour the burial custom of the periannath.
Cirdoliel looks around, "It would be unwise to bring it along with us as you say..." she turns to peer inside the cave closer, "...there appears to be a shallow dip at the back where the stones are...though, without properly covering the body the animals would surely smell the rotting flesh."
Eadirin says, 'Bury him under a red pine and carve into its bark that this poor fellow lies here. That is the least we could do to him. We cannot let his body to become a feast for the wolves and wargs'
Finnehas nods. 'In these groves of holly, a red pine would be fitting, and mark the spot, too.'
Alas, the fate of one of the sons of Brochtû is sealed. Will the Valar return any of them to their bereft father?