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"It is time to leave the Shire," says Gandalf. "I am going to leave you here and travel to the southern borders for news. June is waning, and I have much to do. The roads are unsafe in these dark times, so I suggest you wait for me here until I return. I should be back within a month, but if I am not, you should leave without me. I am placing in your trust a collection of scrolls that must be delivered to Elrond Half-elven in Rivendell. They contain vital information about the current state of affairs. Should anything happen to me, you must go yourself to deliver the scrolls. I rely on people like you and Barliman Butterbur in Bree to deliver essential messages!

"Now I must part with you. Farewell, and may we meet again in Rivendell!"

You rent a room in the Green Dragon Inn and wait. One month passes, and then two. There is still no sign of Gandalf. You spend your days playing games with little Hobbits, but even that is getting tiresome. So one day in August, you buy some provisions and set off along the Great East Road to Rivendell...

Several days later you arrive in Bree again. Butterbur confirms that Gandalf has passed that way. He even has a letter from Gandalf; but not for you, for Frodo Baggins. "I need someone to go to the Shire and give it to him!" says Butterbur. You inform him that unfortunately, you have business eastward, not westward.

Following the main road, you arrive at the Last Bridge in a matter of weeks, in a remarkably uneventful journey. You can't help feeling that this must be the calm before an unusually large storm. Finally, about a month after setting out from the Shire, you find yourself in the forests surrounding the Last Homely House...

Continue on to Rivendell!

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