News‎ > ‎

Interview with Wald Mugwort

posted Jan 2, 2023, 9:36 AM by Peppy Bristlebrush   [ updated Jan 5, 2023, 8:34 AM ]
By Idabelle Piemaker


Every festival, I get called to deliver ales and wines to various free people all over Eriador. The one that always gets me in the chest is the depressed-looking hobbit in the swamp surrounding Ost Haer, keeping company with ghosts leaning against the wall, his legs out in front of him.
Now hobbits, by and large, are a happier lot. To see one so depressed, I always stop for a couple of minutes to wish him a good day. But the burning curiosity in me decided to take the time to talk to him about why he was there and to interview him. I am hoping that the Great
Smials will accept this manuscript and that it might enlighten hobbits on what is happening in the real world.
This is a transcript of this interview.

“Hullo, I am Idabelle Piemaker, and I wish to ask you a few questions about what brought you here to this dismal place.”

Wald Mugwart: “Thank you for wanting to hear my story. It is a glorious tale, I believe.
Where to start. Like most hobbits, I was born in the shire. My mother was a cook of some note,
and we had a small café in Michel Delving. Still, my father was related to Bull Roarer Took in
his distant past and was thrilled by tales of fighting goblins. Though mom tried to get him
interested in farming to produce food she could cook in the café, he took to the road seeking out
trade in cities such as Bree, Esteldin, North Cotton, and Rivendale. He brought back exquisite
fare and drink from these faraway lands, and hobbits would always come over looking to see
what was on the menus. We made enough and had a reputation for good food that eventually,
mother let up on the lecture. But he would tell me tales of swamps and dead men walking, which
sparked this young hobbit’s imagination.”

Idabelle Piemaker: So you wanted to see the sights yourself?

Wald Mugwart: I spent hours sitting at the feet of Old Mad Baggins, listening to his tales
in Erebor of trolls and giants. I wanted to see these lands and collect what mathoms I could. Then
a man from the north, some say he was a ranger, came to our restaurant and said that the Witch
King of Angmar was rising and putting more guards on The Shire. As a young hobbit in my
tweens, I approached him and said I would help and asked where I needed to go.”

Idabelle Piemaker: “Did you get his name?”

Wald Mugwort: “Aye, he said his name was Halros, and he was tasked with keeping the
shire safe. He suggested I go to Bree and meet up with his chieftain Strider. He would know
what to do. Strider was currently at the Prancing Pony on tasks of his own.
So grabbing my walking stick, I went to Bree. My mother cried over me, trying to talk
me into staying in the shire where it was safe. My father had more pride and got in a terrible row
with my mother, saying that a young lad needed to find his own mathom and that it would be
okay.”

Idabelle Piemaker: “So, did you make it to Bree?”

Wald Mugwort: “Oh, yes. I signed up to be a recruit. I helped defend the Prancing Pony
against a Bill Ferney raid. I cowered in my hobbit room when the Black Riders searched for
Strider. Eventually, they sent me to The Lonelands. They told me of a bar there that needed to
have its ceiling worked on. I know it sounds like a terrible idea, but while I was there, the Inn
League came and got some Swill and Foresaken ale. I had long been a member, so I was aware
of them. Anyway, the roof of the Foresaken Inn was rotten; great holes allowed rain and
moonlight to bathe the interior of the smokey inn. The food and drink were terrible, but the
goblins in the nearby ruins kept me busy.”

Idabelle Piemaker: “How long were you stationed there?”

Wald Mugwort: “About three months, a nasty drafty assignment. My room in the inn was
in the basement, and the constant moaning of ghosts would keep me awake for most nights.
However, as I got good at killing goblins and spiders, a sergeant recruited me to go to Ost Guruth
and report to the sergeant there. So I packed up my belongings, said goodbye to my drafty room,
mounted my pony, and struck out to the city. Along the way, I was ambushed by orcs, half-orcs,
and a fair amount of wargs, but I was with a stout mixed company of free folk, and we made it
safely.”

Idabelle Piemaker: Did you like Ost Guruth?”

Wald Mugwort: “It was much better than The Forsaken Inn, but it was a ruin. The men
and women that lived there had a hard life on the doorstep of Garth Agarwen. I did a sorte into
the swamp and the ruins and rescued an ancient hobbit name Sara Oakheart. She moved so slow
I thought I would strangle her. If I had been captured by the beings in that place and I had
rescuers, I would pick up my feet and move, but we got her out and faced the red maid. It was a
thrilling battle, but we came out victorious.
We then went to Ost Haer to deal with wights and wraiths in that ruin. A small camp of
men was there. They were battle-hardened and weary. We brought them fresh supplies and
collected various fungus and bog crawler parts. However, one of their guards had died of an
infection and needed to be replaced. So they left me to fill the slot.”

Idabelle Piemaker: Did you want that post?”

Wald Mugwort: “Would you? I am here until someone relieves me of my duty with
nothing more than some exhausted men and ghosts for company. I penned a letter to the Inn
League to deliver Thistlebelly Brew, my favorite from the Ivy Bush. I sit at this spot, drenched in
the rain, fighting off wights and spirits attacks. I have requested a transfer many times, but I am
told no one to replace me, so here I must stay. I must admit that this is not as fun or exciting as I
thought I would have as an adventurer. “

Wald sighs and takes another sip of his Thistlebelly Brew. Feeling sorry for him, I leave
an entire keg. Perhaps this story will reach the sergeants gathering troops for the battle with
Angmar, or perhaps not. But the Inn League members should take a moment and talk to him. He
is bored and frustrated, and with how things are going, he will be here for a long time. Though I
suppose he does collect some mathoms at his station.
Comments