This is a shocking story, gentle reader. Those of delicate sensibilities and a proper sense of propriety will blush. Those made of sterner stuff will find it unsettling, offensive, disturbing. But I assure you it is all true. Every single word of it.
I have been enslaved by the Lonely Mountain Band.
You might laugh, you might snicker, but this unpleasant and nasty truth cannot be denied. For the past few days I have been forced to spend my valuable time slaving in the copper mines, collecting ore, collecting more ore, collecting yet more ore. I have been given no rest. I have been allowed no recreation at Madame Celestine’s Establishment for Young “Ladies”. I have been badgered, bruised, and brutally berated. My clothes have smudges. One of my nails broke. My feet are hurting and my legs are tired. My vision is going blurry (well, that could be the pipeweed, of course). I have been made to go up hill and down dale, over and over again, through Breeland, Staddle, the Shire, Ered Luin, and then back again, and again, and again, and all for what?
For copper ore.
Do I care about the stuff? No. Do I want to waste my time doing this? No! And NO I say again! A thousand times, No.
So why am I forced thus into vile slavery and impotent bondage? For the sake of the Lonely Mountain Band, none other. They want copper ore, and I am forced to collect it. They are a kinship with no conscience, no heart. They care nothing for others, but only for themselves. Does it worry them that a true artiste such as myself has been degraded to the level of a common slave? It seems not. Do they care for my weary body, my exhausted mind, my sorrow and my heartache? It seems not. Do they care about Madame Celestine’s girls, forced to make do without me? It seems not. They care about nothing but their own selfish desires, and are willing to sacrifice anything and anybody on the altar on their demands.
I don’t even know why they need it. My Fool won’t tell me.
However, I have plans to get even. I am not alone in this world. I have friends in high places. I have pictures taken at Madame Celestine’s (through keyholes). And the Lonely Mountain Band had better watch out. I will get my revenge. I will make them rue the day they ever forced me into servitude.
I will drag their name through the mire of public disgrace and they will be sorry!