We continued on during the day, for everyone seemed to be in a happy mood. Indeed, it was not a march so much as an ale-soaked meander. Several Orcs stopped to sleep and were left behind, only to catch up with our slow progress later in the day. I do remember the sense of urgency I felt just three nights ago, yet somehow nothing seems of much consequence now.
My Orcs had for me, secured in one tent, a fine gift; a black steed, fresh from where horses are bred, formally for the Nazgul, to the northeast. No horse of Rohan, not even a Mearas, is his equal. He is slower, perhaps, but no Rohan horse's eyes gleam so with the red fire of perpetual malice. A Mearas may outrun Burzagan, as I've named him, but it could not hope to fight him.
I decided, however lazy we may feel, that we really must continue north at dawn. I was tying Burzagan's saddle when I became aware of a commotion in the western side of the camp. A sleepy Zogulth informed me that one of our company had been scouting to the west and had come upon another party of some twenty Orcs with about twelve Easterling prisoners. Men, women, and children.
I could not help laughing at this. I knew that there had been a few Easterling settlements established in northwest Mordor during the War of the Ring and I had long fantasised about raiding one. The soft race of Men have no business in Mordor, not really, save as slaves.
I called for the attention of all Orcs near me. "It seems we have detected a band of Orcs who've traitorously taken Easterlings as captives." Sullen mutterings rippled around me, and I paused. At length, I said, "I propose we welcome our Orcish brothers and share in the spoils."
I was much gratified when a great cheer erupted around me.
The Easterlings were starved, naked and shackled; a ridiculously pathetic sight. They sit at the centre of camp now, assailed by sun as well as spits and jeers from my goblins, whose numbers are even greater now.
Oh, and it seems one of my new Orcs, among a hunting party, spotted the Grey Girl Beast last night and briefly gave chase. Of course, he could not hope to overtake a Mearas, but this news pleases me. Wherever the wizard is, he is not assisting her as part of any offensive. I see no harm in waiting a few days and making sport with human flesh. I believe I have earned the reprieve.