From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim
With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library
Tresday, Thirteenth Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn
I feel like a bit of a fool now. I was supposed to be looking for a rock that looked like a face. However, I was looking for a Baro face, instead of a troll's. It was obvious in hindsight, but I didn't realize it until I'd been leaning against the rock in question.
Once I found that landmark, I was able to find the hermit's hill very quickly. By midmorning, I had found the cottage. An old troll was sitting on a wooden chair by the door. He introduced himself as Twisthorn.
Twisthorn is an interesting person. He is the largest troll I've ever seen. If age hadn't bent his back, I think he would be taller than I am1. One of his horns is straight from his head, as was Grotmor's, but the other has a sharp bend halfway, pointing it forward. I believe that was how he got his name; I felt it was impolite to ask. He seemed slightly surprised to see me; I think he was expecting company from someone else. He was most accommodating, however, and invited me in for tea.
Twisthorn's home is a strange building. It is not made of stone or clay, as other buildings I've seen. Instead, it's made of wood from trees. There aren't many trees in the Fardowns, so he must have gone far afield to gather enough wood for its construction. Its roof is made from cut grasses, made into what Twisthorn calls "thatch." There are windows made of glass in the walls, which seem out of place in such a modest building. In Narlifron, few people can afford more than one or two glass windows. I have heard it is much the same in other cities. Twisthorn's home has ten of various sizes and shapes. At least… I think it has ten. I only counted seven on the outside, but I can see ten inside. They range from a small square window as large as my hand to a large star-shaped window high in the north wall.
The inside is oddly cluttered. There are strange bottles, jars, and other containers on shelves, with papers scattered around them. There are several chairs, and two beds, only one of which has been slept in. He owns many books, certainly more than a hundred, and wrote many of them himself. Chests and boxes occupy every bit of space not taken up by furniture, with just enough space left over to move around. There is also a large writing desk, where I am sitting now.
We drank tea, flavored with odd spices, while I told Twisthorn why I was travelling. He thinks that he can help me, but explained that he needed to look at something first. He left, asking me to watch his cabin overnight2. He showed me how to work his stove, and invited me to try more of his tea. There is a pump over a basin, so he does not need to go outside for his water, or store it in jars. This is a change from the desert, where water is scarce, and must be rationed carefully. He said that I could sleep in his spare bed, but I believe I will be more comfortable on the ground. I have never slept on a bed before, and it seems that it wouldn't feel natural to sleep raised above the earth. While a good bedroll is helpful, especially when the ground is damp, a bed seems too high.
I wonder what it is that Twisthorn had to see to, and what it has to do with my quest? Still, he seems to know what he is talking about, and he has obviously travelled widely. I await his return.