I spent an unsettled Saturday traveling the Great East Road, among the wild and tangled woods that climb ever upward toward the Misty Mountains. Halting Brego in the Trollshaws, many leagues west of Bruinen, I spied a prospect opening upon the northern marches; here I beheld a glimmering lake on which played sunbeams that smote the moody scape. And while clouds churned and thunders threatened, I hastened to set up my easel and sketch the scene.

But just as the storms most threatened, I perceived a light in the west and heard the thunder of horse’s hooves upon the road. I sought shelter, but none was to be had. Yet, just as I feared the worst, one of the Fair Folk galloped into view on a great white steed. Tall, he was, yet fell, with power in his hand, and he merely nodded as he fled yet eastward on some grave errand. But in his passing, the gloom was vanquished. Golden light poured upon the road and pursued him; and in his wake I perceived a chiming of bells and a quickening of the air, as if all of these wild realms had been cleansed by his passing.

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