Legal Disclaimer: The Power Rangers belong to Saban or Disney, not me. Lord of the Rings and all associated characters are copyright of J.R.R. Tolkien. Harry Potter and all related indicia is copyright J.K. Rowling. I'm not making any profit from this story. I own Vadaei, [that's pronounced VAY-di-I,] the Phaedos Powers and their bearers, Mistri, Geneva, Calcia, Edy, Asharani, Karei, Vedi, Dalila and Bambi. These nine characters cannot be borrowed, as I'm using them in a story for publication. They are protected under international copyright law. I also own Niamh Ralin, Kalika Alinir, Fleure Vahala and Dylan Jalaz. Those four may be borrowed, but drop me a line, okay? Resemblances between characters and real people, dead or alive, is purely unintentional. This story comes after The Shift in the series The Circle Draws Inward. This is the fifth in a determined six story arc. This is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America. Cameo appearances are welcomed.
Author's Note: I'm going by the books on this one. This story starts in Volume II, The Two Towers, Book Four, Chapter I, The Taming of Sm’agol. This part follows the experiences of those who chose to go to Mordor to destroy the One Ring, which therefore means that at the end of Volume II, Book Four, I will then continue to Volume III, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter I, The Tower of Cirith Ungol. Regarding Power Rangers ì Whether morphed or not, they are referred to as first name, no matter which morph they are using. Regarding the LOTR characters and book, I promise to stay as close to the actual happenings as I can. It is unfortunate that I cannot incorporate any part of the third movie The Return of the King into this fic, but rest assured, parts of The Two Towers will make it in.
Shire Reckoning: The Shire Reckoning related to years and months. I admit that I do not fully understand the explanations given to all of the Shire Reckoning. Therefore, I do not relate YEARS by Shire Reckoning. I relate MONTHS by the Shire Reckoning, in which there were thirty days to a month and twelve months to a year. So where it says in the Shire Reckoning I am referring to months. Confused? I sure am.
Gollum or Sm’agol?: The creature known as Gollum whom Bilbo Baggins, the Ring-Finder took the Ring off, makes his appearance in this fic. After much debate on who the people are, I have thus concluded: Sm’agol was a good River Folk creature. After he obtained the Ring, he was slowly turned into Gollum over the many years he possessed it and was poisoned by the Ring.
After the 'theft' of the Ring, Sm’agol and Gollum began a battle of supremacy, finally ended when Sm’agol swore on the Precious. Sm’agol is much the mindset in control, as far as I see, though Gollum does make his appearances, trying to convince Sm’agol to 'betray the massster' or when he has managed to become the dominant 'mind'. To that end, I write actions and words as they are each done by whoever is in 'control' as it were. For instance, Sm’agol looked at Frodo and said, "Led you to the Gates, I did." But when writing where it is concerning both of them, I use Gollum/Sm’agol as seen: . . . whilst Edy always guarded Gollum/Sm’agol . . . I hope this serves to clear up any confusion.
Crossover: This is a crossover of PR, HP, and LOTR. In case you hadn't guessed.
February 26th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
Frodo came to the boats, and found Edy waiting there, with her pack and Frodo's pack in a boat and partly launched already.
"I must go alone!" cried Frodo. Edy smiled.
"And you would fail. I must go, in place of Sam. I know what will happen. It must happen, and I will see that it does."
"Why not then go with Aragorn?" asked Frodo desperately.
"Boromir has departed, and the Quest lies not with them. It lies with you! If Sam were here, but he is not! He was meant to be here, to come with you!"
"Then we go," said Frodo, conceding. He did not wish to have a fight. And so the two hopped in the boat, and went down the river, into Mordor.
And on the last stage of the Quest set Frodo and Edy. The River bore them down the western arm, past Tol Brandir. At long last, they breached the shore of Amon Lhaw. There they hid the boat as best they might, and shouldering their burdens, they sought a path over Emyn Muil and down into the Land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie.
February 28th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
It had been three evenings, near as they could tell. Three evenings since they had fled in the wake of the Fellowship's breaking. Three days of wandering eastwards as best they might, often retracing their steps, or going in circles, labouring among the stones and slopes of the Emyn Muil.
Edy looked into Mordor, her eyes seeking the Mountain of Fire. "Mordor. The one place in Middle Earth we don't want to see any closer. It's the one place we're trying to get. It's just where we can't get. Let's face it Frodo. We're lost. I don't think Gandalf meant for us to come this way. Whatever way it happened last time, I can't even see how I could work out what way it is now!"
Frodo, long used to Edy's mentioning 'last time' in reference to the Quest, sighed. "He didn't mean for a lot of things to happen, Edith. But they did."
Their attention was caught then, by a distant voice calling out from behind them. Retracing their steps quickly, they found Samwise Gamgee, appropriately dressed and carrying a pack.
"What's going on?" was the same question that passed everyone's lips. Sitting down for a few minutes, Sam quickly caught them up with what he had learned while in Angel Grove, which set Frodo's mind at ease. And they in turn, filled him in what had happened to them, and they finally looked again at each other.
"Well, Samwise Gamgee," said Edy at last. "It would appear that we have you as well to join us. Which is both good and bad in itself. Because then our party is four, once Sm’agol has joined with us, thereby increasing our danger. But as it harm none, do as it wills."
"Mr Frodo, Miss Edith, shouldn't we camp and at least see what provender we have?" suggested Sam. He was met by two scowls.
"There is no place to camp that is even remotely decent in providing protection," snarled Edy. "Curse Mordor! You are correct Sam ì but it is so frustrating!" They walked in silence to a little hollow, and there they took stock of their provisions.
"Lembas," said Edy. "And more lembas, and then yet more lembas! I just might be sick of it by the time I return!" Frodo laughed slightly, recalling the giving of the gift to Edy and her request. "Rope, elven rope, one more elven cloak. That's it."
"I have lembas, lembas and lembas," said Frodo. "Plus an extra elven cloak."
"I have my cooking gear, elven rope, two cloaks, I'd best put one on," Sam started. "Plus a small box, and as you said, lembas."
"The box is your gift from Galadriel," spoke Edy. "Much strange is at work." And they curled up and slept as best they might, sheltered from an east wind. The next morning, they sat, shivering as they ate lembas.
"I've not seen anything, much less heard anything, for two nights," muttered Edy. "Curse Gollum! I wish I could find the creature!"
"What would you do, Miss Edith?" questioned Sam.
"What must be done," she replied, casting a look to the Mountain of Fire. "If he's lost us, he'll find us again, rest assured." And they continued onwards, but the day wore into the afternoon, and still they were on the ridge, no way of getting off. But at last, they broke through to a gully, where it looked safe to descend.
"Easier down than up," said Sam, looking dubiously at it. Edy laughed.
"Eighteen fathoms," she recalled. "It slopes out a little. We'd best go down at once. Who will go first?" Frodo looked at it, and said he could go down it, and Sam would be able to follow, likely. And Frodo began to climb down, and suddenly, he fell, and after a few seconds, he landed on a wider ledge. He gathered himself.
"I'm alright! I can't see, but I'm fine. I just can't move from here terribly much. You can't do anything without a ì " here a slinky soft object trailed past his face; " ì rope." He grasped it, and Edy and Sam began to haul him up. Once he was up, then the heavens opened up, and thunder and lightning.
"Thirty ells, more or less," said Edy. "We had best press on. Clearly, none of you are climbing. Let me just change form, and I'll fly us down. I cannot fly us to Mordor, because I do not wish to be easily seen and struck down." And so she did, down to the bottom in her owl form, greatly increased in size from her normal choice. And they looked around, and found themselves out of the Emyn Muil.
"Night will be here," murmured Sam. And with a cast look back at the Emyn Muil they began to look for a place to sleep. Eventually, they just slept on the ground, near a boulder. Edy watched calmly, letting the hobbits sleep, and smiled once, when she saw that Gollum was following them.
Gollum crept up towards them. Edy was always at the ready, just looking as if she were sitting there, lulled to sleep. "Those thieves! Those filthy little thieves! Wheeere isssit? Wheeere isssit? They stole it from us. My preciousssss, gollum!" He crept ever nearer. Quick as a bullet, Edy grabbed Gollum and began to scuffle with him, keeping him from the Ring. The hobbits, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee sprang to Edy's aid. And so the four of them were engaged in a tussle. Frodo thought of Sting, unsheathed Sting and quietly pressed it to Gollum's throat.
"This is Sting. You've seen it before, haven't you, Gollum! Release them or I'll cut your throat!" Slowly, Gollumn subsided.
"Don't hurt us, nice hobbitses? We'll be nice, little hobbitses, if you'll be nice?" Gollum grovelled.
"What do we do?" asked Sam. "Tie it up so it can't sneak after us?"
"That will kill us, please no, little hobbitses," whimpered Gollum.
"We would have to kill him outright," replied Frodo. "But now that I have seen him, I do pity him."
"Pity?" quoted Edy, from long ago. "It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Pity and Mercy; not to strike without need. Deserves death? I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends."
"Very well," said Frodo. "You shall not be killed, nor will we let you go. You are to now come with us, Gollum."
"But where are you hobbitses going?" he asked.
"You know well enough, Sm’agol. For you are being drawn back to it," answered Edy. "Mordor, where the Shadows lie."
"Yes! No! Accident, precious! Accident, yes. But we go back, no, no," he sobbed.
"Sm’agol. If you wish to be free of the Dark Lord," began Frodo. "Then you must come with us. And at once!"
"Don't ask Sm’agol," Gollum cackled. "He's gone away, lost his Precious, he did."
"Night or day? Which will you choose to travel by ?" asked Frodo.
"Wait a while, and let the White Face recede!"
And when they started, they found it necessary to bind Gollum with the elven rope of Sam. And Gollum began to scream and writh, trying to be free. At long last, they were convinced that it was hurting him, and they paused.
"It burns! It burns us! Take it off!" he entreated.
"You try to run away, and so we bind you, but it is not our wish to hurt you," said Sam, looking at the knot.
"Elves made it, it freezes and burns us! We escape from nasty hobbitses! They visits Elves!"
"There is no promise you make that we can trust," spoke Edy, gazing on Gollum.
"Sm’agol. Swears to serve the master of the precioussss. We swears on, on the precioussss!"
"The Ring is treacherous. It will hold you to your word. Remember:
Would you commit a promise to the Ring? It will hold your promise and try to twist it," Frodo said, more fierce and determined than before.
"Yes . . . on the preciouss . . . on the preciousss," said Sm’agol.
"And what do you swear?"
"To be good, and never let Him have the Precious. I will serve the master of the Precious," said Sm’agol, piteously.
"The Moon is gone," spoke Edy. "We must leave and take the passage of the Marshes." In a lower undertone, she spoke to Frodo and Sam. "Beware. Sm’agol made the promise. He is bound. Gollum still lurks, is still lusting for the Precious. We must be careful." And listening to the babble and tales of Sm’agol, they were led towards the marshes. As day drew near, they stopped.
"The Yellow Face hurtses us. Sm’agol must stay here, out of sight. Nice sensible hobbitses stay with Sm’agol." They sat down at the gully, near a stream and Frodo looked at the food.
"We will share what we have, Sm’agol. Are you hungry?"
"Famissshed, yes we are. Nice little fissshes?" he enquired.
"Just lembas and water, if it is fit," said Sam, sighing. He held out the lembas. Sm’agol tried a little.
"Ahh! It chokes us, it can't be eaten! Sm’agol must go hungry but Sm’agol doesn't mind." Frodo and Edy looked at him, helplessly.
"He cannot eat it at any rate," said Edy, unslinging her bow. "Therefore I will hunt some fishes. We cannot starve him." And she crossed to the stream, and within minutes, she had caught four fishes. These she gave to Sm’agol, who went off a ways to devour them in his fashion.
"There's a change in him," muttered Sam, watching Sm’agol.
"He is of two minds," said Edy. "He was once Sm’agol, of the River Folk. But Deagol found the Ring, and there Gollum killed him and took it for his own. In possessing the Ring, Gollum grew to be the dominant personality, and Sm’agol could see what went on, but Gollum had the Ring, and the Ring poisoned his mind. Now that he is free of it, Gollum and Sm’agol conflict."
"But Sm’agol made the promise," ventured Sam.
"That is our danger. He made the promise. But Gollum's presence so near the Ring is bound to affect Sm’agol. We must be careful."
And so they rested, Edy standing guard. She had insisted, saying, The Quest lies with Frodo, and he is your master, Sam. You will help him to the end, if I cannot. Therefore, you two must rest at all times.
March 1st, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
They took the passage of the Dead Marshes at dawn. This was their third day with Gollum/Sm’agol, and they were slow going. No matter how slow they went, Frodo seemed to lag more and more as they drew closer to Mordor, though no one could tell if they were closer to Mordor anymore.
They crossed through the marshes, listening to Sm’agol chatter.
"Swamp, yes. Come master," he entreated. "We will take you to safe paths, through the mist. Come hobbitses, come. We move quickly. Sm’agol found it. I did. The way through the marshes. Orcs don't use it. Orcs don't know it. They go round for miles and miles. Come quickly. Swift and quickly."
And so they followed, not having much real choice. And when they saw the dead things, Sam cried out in shock.
"There are dead things! Dead faces in the water!"
Sm’agol nodded, looking back at the three. "Oh yes. All dead. All rotten. Elves and Men and Orcs. A great battle long ago. The Dead Marshes. Yes, yes! That is the name. This way. Don't follow the lights, hobbitses."
"If he calls me a hobbit once more, I'll wring his neck," muttered Edy, even knowing as she said it, that she wouldn't. But it made her feel better, somewhat.
"Careful now! Or hobbitses go down to join the dead ones, and light little candles of their own," said Sm’agol, quite happily, as if though it was the pinnacle of achievement for a 'hobbitses'. Frodo, who had been staring at a face, chose then to fall into the water.
"Mr Frodo!" cried Sam! Frodo saw many faces of the dead in the water. Their hands reached for him, seeking to draw him into their realm. Suddenly he was grabbed from behind and pulled ashore.
"Don't follow the lights!" cried Sm’agol. "No, lightses are bad!"
"Frodo! Are you alright?" And so that was the end of their third day with Gollum, and they camped as best they might. The next day, they made their way out of the Dead Marshes, only stopped once when a Nazg€l, on mounted winged steed passed over head.
The sense of the Eye affected Frodo terribly. He knew where it was and he was facing it. And still he pursued onwards, trying to shake off the fearful presence of the Eye. And Sam did his best to support Frodo, whilst Edy always guarded Gollum/Sm’agol carefully. And once day had come, the mountains were much closer, and they were surprised.
It was now three days since beginning the passages of the Dead Marshes, and their fifth morning with Gollum/Sm’agol. They were now on the desolation of Morannon, lying before Mordor, and they felt quite ill.
They could go no further, wearied as they were, and they sought rest in an evil hole, covered in oily ooze. There the four of them rested, drinking naught save a few drops of water, last filled in the gully. Edy once more sat on guard, bading the others sleep, and so they tried.
And Edy then heard a little voice as she sat alert.
Gollum spoke first. "We wants it, we needs it. Must have the Preciousss. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, filthsss!"
But Sm’agol countered, "No! No! Master!"
Gollum responded, "Yess. Preciousss first. They will cheat you, hurt you, lie!"
Sm’agol thought quickly and triumphantly produced, "Master's my friend."
Gollum sneered. "You don't have any friends. Nobody likes you."
Clapping his hands over his ears, Sm’agol sang, "Not listening. Not listening."
Gollum grew angry and snapped, "You're a liar, and a thief."
"No," snapped Sm’agol.
"Murderer!" crowed Gollum.
"Go away," whimpered Sm’agol.
Gollum was disbelieving. "Go away?! Ahahhaa!" He laughed again.
"I hate you, I hate you!" cried Sm’agol.
Switching tactics, Gollum spoke. "Where would you be without me? Gollum. Gollum. I saved us. It was me. We survived because of me!"
"Not anymore," said Sm’agol bravely.
"What did you say?" demanded Gollum.
"Master looks after us now. We don't need you," answered Sm’agol hatefully.
"What?" snarled Gollum.
"Leave now and never come back," Sm’agol said.
"No!" cried Gollum.
"Leave now and never come back!" said Sm’agol forcefully.
"Ahh!" cried Gollum.
"LEAVE NOW AND NEVER COME BACK!" Sm’agol yelled. There was an all pervading silence. "We told him to go away! And away he goes, preciousss. Gone, gone, gone, Sm’agol is free!" Sm’agol proclaimed happily and loudly. Edy sat back, thinking over what it was she had just observed. But she knew more intimately now that the danger lay with Gollum's desire for the Ring. But she then yawned loudly, and called.
"We must move onwards. It is dusk. To the Gates?"
"Yes," said Frodo. "Sm’agol, you must take us to the Gates. From there, go where you will ì just not to our enemies." And so, chattering in his way, Sm’agol took them onwards. And twice more Nazg€l passed them overhead. And each time, Sm’agol stopped, and they had to plead with him before he would go on. But the third time, Frodo had to use Sting, and only with that threat above his head would Sm’agol lead them on. And before the next day dawned, their journey to Mordor was over.
And Frodo, Edy and Sam looked upon the sight of Mordor. Edy cursed quite fluently in a language foreign to the hobbits. Neither wished to know what she had spoken. And she turned to Gollum/Sm’agol.
"Sm’agol, dear," Edy cooed. "Is there another way you know? One you did not tell us, because we did not ask?"
"Yes, there is," Sm’agol said, cautiously.
"Well, we'll have to take this way, if we do not go the other way. This way is directly into the hands of . . . Him." Edy looked at Sm’agol gravely.
"No! Don't take the Preciousss to Him, no! Nice little hobbitses! Go another way, much safer, darker, difficult to find, secret!"
"Then take us," commanded Frodo. Edy smiled wryly, as Sm’agol began leading them away. And slowly she explained why she had acted as she had and why Sm’aagol had not spoken of it before. They had not asked, Sm’agol had not told.
And so they moved away, quickly and cautiously. No one spoke much, beyond what they needed to say as they journeyed. But Edy had noted much that was not said, and did her best to understand the worrisome gaps that she knew of, that were ommitted here. But soon they drew to a hollow, where they rested. Above would sometimes come the Ringwraiths, or Nazg€l as they were also known.
Suddenly, they were alert. A hoarse shouting drew nigh, and so Sm’agol went out by himself, of his own volition to see what they were.
"Dark Men going to Mordor," he said in low tones. "I have not seen Men like this, Sm’agol has not. Perhaps from the Great River's end, the South beyond."
"Any Oliphaunts?" asked Sam, curiously. Sm’agol shook his head.
Once Edy and Sam had finished reciting together, Sam continued. "So that's an Oliphaunt, according to our tales of the Shire."
"Sm’agol saw no Oliphaunts, nor has he heard of them," said Sm’agol hurriedly. "Sm’agol wants to go . . . won't nice master come with Sm’agol?"
"Very well. I will come," said Frodo.
"Then we shall rest, nice little hobbitses! Yellow Face goes away, and we can be quick for we must be quick!" And with that proclamation, Edy took up her guard. And for the remaining hours of the 'Yellow Face', they rested. Before they set out, Edy again caught fishes for Gollum, and they ate and drank a little. At length they set out. A red light seemed to track them, and for many miles it watched them.
At last it vanished and they walked some more. After they had walked almost eight leagues, they stopped, unable to go any further on the hobbits part. They took shelter, and they waited. Again Edy sat on guard, and once more at dusk they set out. And they passed into the northern marshes of which was once known as Ithilien. Once more as it neared daybreak, they found a stream and washed and drank their fill. Then they found a place filled with the remnants of last year's greenery. Sam was concerned at the rate they were eating the lembas, six days had passed since he had figured they would have enough for three weeks.
Edy ate hardly anything. In those past six days, she had eaten at most, one wafer of lembas, while Frodo and Sam at most had eaten four in total. And so thinking, he asked Sm’agol to go and find something for consumption. Frodo had settled to sleep, and Edy had also settled down, seeing as Sam was determined to stay awake.
And soon Sm’agol came back with several rabbits. "Look! Look! See what Sm’agol finds! Ehehe! Hohohhooo! They are young! They are tender and nice. Yes they are! Eat them. Eat them."
"There's only one way to eat a brace of coneys, and that's . . . well, you'll see," said Sam. "Take these pots and get some water, Sm’agol." Sam then began to make a fire, and then as he began to stew the rabbits, Sm’agol complained.
"Argh!! Whats he doing! Stupid fat hobbit. You ruins it!"
Sam looked at him disbelievingly. "What's to ruin? There's hardly any meat on them. What we need it a few good taters."
"What's taters? Preciousss, what's taters? Huh?" Sm’agol questioned.
"Po-ta-toes!! Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish," Sam explained rather impatiently. Sm’agol stuck his nose up at that, clearly conveying his opinion.
"Even you couldn't say no to that," said Sam.
"Oh yes we could. Ssspoiling nice fish! Give it to ussss raw, and wriggling. You keep nasty chips!" said Sm’agol happily enough.
"Oh, you're hopeless," muttered Sam. After an hour of cooking, Sam woke up Edy and Frodo, and they made as best they could in sharing it. But Gollum/Sm’agol was not with them, for what happened next. Sam found his fire had spread a little, and he stamped it out, and heard a strange bird call as he did so. He raced back, and told them of his happenings. Edy notched an arrow, and Frodo and Sam drew their swords, readying themselves.
Once they could hear the voices quite clearly, and they could see the four men, Frodo and Sam followed Edy's lead, and they came out out hiding, surprising the men. They were much like Boromir in stature and bearing and in manner of speech.
"We have not found what we sought, but what have we found?" asked one.
"Not Orcs," said another, releasing his sword.
"Elven folk?" asked the third.
"Not Elves, they do not walk in Ithilien in these days," said the fourth, the apparent leader. "Elves are fair to look upon, or so 'tis said."
"So we are not, then, by your speech?" returned Edy. "I know you. . . Captain Faramir of Gondor. And even though you will say there are no travellers: only servants of the Enemy or of the White, we are neither. And travellers we are, Captain Faramir, son of Denethor."
"Silence!" roared Faramir.
"Is that any way to talk to Edith Evaelon?" Edy asked, her voice silky with rage. "You would do well to not insult your betters, Faramir!" The four men dismounted, and fell on their knees.
"Your pardon, Evaelon," began Faramir. "But we are naturally suspicious of those who wander in Ithilien. If it would please you, would you name your errand, and the whereabouts of the fourth member?"
She turned to Frodo and so he began. "The other member of us, is a chance companion, a gangrel creature. I am not answerable for him, but he is under my guard. We are Hobbits of the Shire. You know of the Evaelon. I am Frodo son of Drogo, and my companion is Samwise, son of Hamfast. We set out from Rivendell, or Imladris as it is also known, some call it. We had six other companions. One we lost in Moria, and the others we left at Parth Galen, above Rauros."
"Who were they?" enquired Faramir.
"An Elf, Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood. A Dwarf of the Lonely Mountains of Erebor, Gimli son of Gl¾in. Two of my kin. And two men: Aragorn son of Arathorn, and your brother, Boromir of Gondor, hailing from Minas Tirith," responded Edy, quickly. "Your rhyme:
They are the Halflings, or Hobbits, as they prefer of the rhyme. Isildur's Bane is hidden, and will make itself known in time. Leave two of your men with us, and should you return, speak more with us then!" Faramir nodded, dispatched two of his men, and Edy, Frodo and Sam sat down again.
No words were exchanged between the two groups, for Edy was extremely cautious now that they were on the outskirts of Mordor, if not in it. Her geography was not coming back to her, likely due to stress and so she had advised Frodo and Sam to be silent. The two men she soon learnt were Mablung and Damrod, listening intently to their conversation, spoken in hushed tones that only she caught.
As the day wore on, conversations ceased and they went into a listening silence. Many Men passed nearby , and they took more refuge in the shadows as the sun rose. And soon they saw a battle of Men against Men. And Sam could never quite believe it afterwards, but he did see an Oliphaunt, watched it in the battle as it plunged into the Anduin.
And in the late afternoon Faramir returned to them. And they sat before Faramir and related as much as they would dare of the tale, not exactly wishing to name what Isildur's Bane was. Edy was soon aware that Faramir was not satisfied with the account, and he made his point clear in directly asking them.
"If you are this hobbit, then you carried this thing and at Imladris, Boromir saw it. You say it is hidden; but not because that is what you will?"
"It is hidden because he is ordained to carry it, but if anyone should claim it, it will be Aragorn son of Arathorn, heir of Isildur Elendil's son. He bears the Sword-that-was-Broken, and is reforged again," answered Edy.
"But if you are not satisfied of that claim," spoke Frodo. "Boromir was, and were he here, he would answer your questions. He intended to head for Minas Tirith, from Rauros. My part was known to him, as to all the others. My intent is to go through whatever country I must on my errand, but I am bid not to mention that errand to anyone save outside the Company."
Faramir looked at them all, calculating. "Were you a friend of Boromir?"
"For my part, yes," answered Frodo, warily, and remembering the insanity that had descended upon Boromir in that final hour before the breaking.
"It would grieve you then to learn that he is dead?" asked Faramir.
"It would. But is he dead and you know it?" demanded Frodo. "How? When?"
"As one of his companions, I had hoped you would tell me," answered Faramir.
Now Sam and Edy were growing quite annoyed at this exchange, and finally, Sam burst out; "He's gone on long enough! He's no right to speak of you and to you like that, not after everything you've done. He's got no right to accuse you of murdering Boromir, and that's what you're getting at, aren't you?"
"Master Samwise. I simply wish to establish the events in my mind. I am commanded to slay whomever may walk in these lands without the leave of Gondor. But I do not slay needlessly, and when I do, I am not glad. Be comforted," said Faramir. "But can you remember any special mark of Boromir?"
"He bore a horn, a great horn of the wild ox of the East. It was bound with silver, and writ with ancient characters," spoke Edy.
"The horn of the eldest son of our house, borne many a year. Eleven days ago, I thought I could hear the blowing of that horn, off to the north, but very dim. And come the third night since, and what do I see?" Faramir looked at them. "A glimmering grey boat, of strange fashion with high prow. And in it, was my brother, Boromir, slain. Everything he had, was familiar, save a golden belt of linked leaves. His horn was missing though."
"Indeed, Boromir as I knew him, with his belt from L¾rien," sighed Frodo heavily. "Of his horn, I know nothing."
"Then you passed through the Land of L¾rien," said Faramir. "I would suppose the boats were theirs? I have not seen their like. And as to the horn, it now lies upon the lap of Denethor, cloven in two."
March 7th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
Not much longer they lingered, there being need to move to Henneth Ann€n. And slowly they walked, Faramir having chosen to converse quietly with Frodo, and by extension Edy, for she was wary of Faramir.
"I told no lies, and spoke of what I could," said Frodo. Faramir nodded.
"As I knew. I also deduced that your parting from Boromir was rather in grievance. Isildur's Bane, I would suppose is the source of contention between you and the Company."
"Not so," said Edy. "We were thus divided on where we should travel, ontowards the Emyn Muil and beyond, or to Minas Tirith."
Faramir nodded. "Then your grievance lies solely with Boromir." And on he went to speak of Boromir and Isildur's Bane, speaking quickly of many points and theories. When he was informed that Gandalf had been lost in Moria, he shuddered and continued onwards to the point he was dying to make. "But I guessed that Isildur's Bane was that which he had taken from the Enemy. What it was in all truth, I do not know, nor can I guess."
"But whatever it may be, I will not take it. Not for any such reason, for I have learned enough about it to know I should not tryst with it. So I will cease, and we will speak no more of it. I do not wish for you to tell me whether I am or not close or on the truth," Faramir looked at Frodo. "But if you wish my aid or advice, simply ask, and I will try and aid you in your present quest."
They walked on in silence, for many miles, until the forest thinned and the land grew steeper. But came the time to be blindfolded, and with many a inside jest at Gimli, they succumbed. And surely they were led, onwards, and at last they came to rest near a waterfall. And they all went in to the refuge of the Men of Gondor. Looking around them, they saw that it was a merry place, somewhat, all organised and moving. They were taken to a corner, and they rested. But when a man came in, and reported having seen a creature that sounded like Gollum/Sm’agol to the three, they all listened intently.
It seemed that he had followed them and had been seen. But as he was not harmed by the men who had seen him, the three drifted off to a doze, only waking when the evening meal was to be eaten. Taking water, they quickly washed their faces and arms and then sat down to the first decent meal in quite a while. Bread and butter, salted meats, dried fruits and good red cheese.
And so afterwards they were led to a little room wherein they were to sleep, but Faramir requested tales of Boromir, which they gave only too gladly, cautious though they still were. And once they finished, Faramir reciprocated in turn, speaking of Minas Ithil, and Osgiliath and Minas Tirith. And once they were finished, they talked of the Elves and of the White Lady. And Edy and Frodo did not guard too carefully.
"Anyway, this Enemy's Ring ì " began Sam.
Edy and Frodo leapt to attention too late. And Faramir's eyes widened.
"Now, look here, Faramir, Captain of Gondor," began Sam. "I've been a fool, and it's not right to take advantage of that over my master. You spoke so handsomely, that I was off my guard. But handsome is as handsome does, we say in the Shire. Now you may show your quality, since the chance is before you."
"So you carry the Ring," began Faramir. "And you ran from the Company, to me. Now I have the Ring. But I said, I will not take it. Not for any such reason, for I have learned enough about it to know I should not tryst with it. But at last we understand each other, Frodo Baggins. You have carried this, and not used it, and I marvel at this, but I also pity and honor you, for you took it unwillingly, at others' asking. But I wish not to see it, touch it, or know more than I already do, [which is more than I ever wanted to know] and tomorrow, we go our own ways."
And upon Frodo a great weariness landed, and Faramir quickly put him to rest. Edy and Sam also set to go to sleep, and Faramir turned to leave.
"You had your chance," said Edy, before falling asleep, dead to everything.
"Did I?" asked Faramir.
Sam nodded, and yawned. "Yes sir, and showed your quality: the very highest."
In the night Edy was awake and seeing Faramir come, she used some of her Ninjetti skills, and appeared by his side. "Take me to deal with it, let them rest," she said. Faramir nodded. and they went off to the Forbidden Pool.
Faramir spoke. "Down there." Edy looked down to the Forbidden Pool and saw Gollum/Sm’agol dive into the pool. She smiled half heartedly.
"To enter the Forbidden Pool bears the penalty of death," said Faramir in a low tone. He raised his hand and archers stepped out from the bushes, ready to shoot. "They wait for my command. Shall they shoot?"
"Rock and pool is nice and cool, so juicy sweeeet. I only wish to catch a fish, so juicy sweeeeet!" babbled Sm’agol happily.
"Wait. This creature is bound to Frodo. And Frodo to him. He is our guide, such as it is, Captain Faramir," answered Edy.
"Why then is he here?"
"He bore the Ring, and was poisoned by it. He must now seek it, and he yearns for it."
Faramir bade Edith go and fetch her guide and she did so quickly and quietly.
"Sm’agol. Mistress is here. Come, Sm’agol. Trust Mistress. Come."
"We must . . . go now?" Sm’agol asked.
Edy smiled and took Gollum/Sm’agol's hand and led him away, and once they were away from the Forbidden Pool, Edy began explaining in hushed tones exactly what Gollum/Sm’agol was to them and why they needed him. And Faramir spoke to Gollum/Sm’agol as well, and eventually obtained some sort of promise never to return to the Forbidden Pool.
And Faramir tried to talk Frodo and Edy out of going with this creature, saying it was abominably evil, but they would not be dissuaded. And so they returned to bed and rested some more, breakfasted and the four of them left the place of Henneth Ann€n.
Their packs were heavier than they had been, and for this they were most grateful. Faramir gave to them as a parting of farewell, three stout staves of polished wood, covered in iron, and carven heads with plaited leather thongs. All four were blindfolded, and they were led out of Henneth Ann€n. And at their parting, Faramir said:
"Do not turn eastwards yet, go straight on, and have the cover of the woodland for many a mile. For the first part of your journey you may walk in daylight." And Edy took Faramir aside and whispered words to him, and he nodded, thoughtful of her words.
And so they moved onwards during that day, and only stopped twice to eat a little of the food Faramir had given them. Salted meat, bread and dried fruit. Darkness came sooner than expected and so they camped under trees. The next day they turned east, and the day passed much as the first had, but there was a sense of foreboding. The third day of their march they began to walk with caution, afraid of the open places and the stillness of the surrounds.
That night they camped for a few short hours, now having need to march by night. And Gollum/Sm’agol looked at them when he woke.
"Are we rested? Have we had beautiful sleep?" questioned Gollum.
"We aren't! And we haven't!" snapped Edy, irritable because of the display of over cheerfulness. "But if you would lead us, then by all means, let us go." And so they moved on towards the Cross-roads as Gollum/Sm’agol informed them. And before the Cross-roads, Gollum/Smeagol disappeared. And as the day passed, it grew darker, so that it was dark before midday. And so they shared watches about, until Gollum/Sm’agol came back.
And they made their way to the Cross-roads quietly and as quickly as it was possible for them to do. And at the Cross-roads they saw the great stone kings. And they were suddenly afraid, and as they watched, the Sun dipped and vanished, and black night fell instantly. And they forced themselves to move onwards, Frodo once again feeling the burden of the Ring. They walked on and on finally having to rest when Frodo could not carry the weight of the Ring any longer. But Gollum/Sm’agol grew quite agitated at this, and Frodo finally tried to go on again.
But Minas Morgul answered first. A great red flash. A crack of thunder. Lightning flared in response, as a screech filled the air, from whence it was not known. And out of the gates rode the Morgul-host, setting forth with a Nazg€l as its leader. And suddenly the Wraith-King stopped, as if sensing the Ring. Many moments passed. And finally, the Wraith King set off again, as Frodo's hand clutched the Phial of Galadriel.
Sam roused Frodo, but Frodo seemed reluctant to move. He looked at Sam uncomphrehendingly.
"It's me, it's your Sam," he said.
"I can't do this, Sam," Frodo managed at last.
"I know. It's all wrong. by rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are," said Sam quietly. "It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back ì only they didn't. Because they were holding on to something."
"What are we holding on to, Sam?" asked Frodo, haltingly.
But it was Edy who answered. "That there's some good in this world, Frodo Baggins. And it's worth fighting for."
And so they set off, not wishing to stay any longer than they had to. They walked on towards the first stairs of Cirith Ungol, and they began to slowly climb the stairs, taking extreme care to be quick and safe. Emerging at the top, they were all dizzy and tired, excepting Gollum/Sm’agol. And they went to the tunnel where a chill air flew through, and thy began to traverse through it. And after the tunnel, they began their assault on the second stairs of Cirith Ungol. And it was there they found it was guarded as well.
Though Gollum/Sm’agol tried to make out that it may be less guarded, the guards may have gone to a battle or whatnot, they were still not satisfied. And so they went to a crevice and had a bit of rest.
"I wonder if we'll ever be put into songs or tales," mused Sam thoughtfully.
Suppressing a giggle, Edy enquired, "What?"
"I wonder if people will ever say, Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring.' And they'll say, 'Yes, that's one of my favorite stories. Frodo was really courageous, wasn't he, dad?' 'Yes, my boy, the most famousest of hobbits. And that's saying a lot.'"
"You talk as if the story was already written," muttered Frodo, smiling. Edy nearly exploded with laughter at that. "But you've left out two chief characters. Samwise the Brave, and Edith the Evaelon. 'I want to hear more about Sam and Edy. Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam and Edy, would he have dad?'
"Now Mr. Frodo, you shouldn't make fun. I was being serious," protested Sam.
"So was I," returned Frodo.
"But in any case," said Edy. "It is likely at this point, that some would say, 'Shut the book, I don't want to know or read anymore.' But would Gollum or Sm’agol as he will, be the hero or villain?"
And now they discovered that Gollum was gone.
March 11th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
"Master . . . Master looks after us. Master wouldn't hurt us," said Sm’agol uncertainly and only half protesting.
"Master broke his promise!" snapped Gollum.
"Don't ask Sm’agol. Poor, poor Sm’agol," whimpered Sm’agol.
"Master betrayed us! Wicked, tricksy, filth! We ought to ring his filthy little neck! Kill him! Kill him! Kill them both. Then we take the Preciousss and we be the master," said Gollum, triumphantly.
"But the fat hobbit. He knows. Eyes always watching," argued Sm’agol. "And the Lady."
"Then we stabs them out. Put out his eyses. And make him crawl. Strand the Lady," answered Gollum.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" cried Sm’agol.
"Kill them all," prodded Gollum.
"Yes! No. No. It's too risky, it's too risky," whimpered Sm’agol.
"We could let her do it," proposed Gollum.
"Yes. She could do it," said Sm’agol, liking this idea.
"Yes, Precious she could. And then we takes it once they're dead!" said Gollum happily and so Gollum/Sm’agol scampered off. When he returned, he looked at Frodo asleep, and a strange expression crossed his face. He touched Frodo's knee, an in thhat instant, he looked like a wearied old hobbit.
"What are you doing?" asked Edy, quietly.
"Nothing, nice Mistress," Gollum answered. "Searching for the paths we must take."
"Very well," replied Edy. "Is it today or tomorrow?"
"It is today . . . or was tomorrow when the hobbits went to sleep," Gollum answered. Edy smiled tightly.
"If we can now find our way, then our agreement can be said to be over," said Frodo. "And thus, you are free to go and do as you will, as long as you do not go to Servants of the Enemy."
"Oh no," said Gollum. "No rest, no food. We must go on." And so they did.
And so they walked onwards, barely noticing the scenery. Soon they found a cave, and from it emanated an incredible stink. And smiling grimly, Edy took all their bags, and carried them herself. She knew of this cave.
"We must go this way?" asked Frodo.
"No other way to go, Master," answered Gollum. And so they drew a deep breath and entered into the cave. It was complete darkness, and such was the stillness that they felt some shard of fear. They felt so cut off, and yet they were not. Gollum/Sm’agol seemd to be only a few steps ahead. They passed several openings on the side, and still went straight and up. But how long would they have to endure the complete blackness for was unknown. Edy, Frodo and Sam clasped hands, and went on together, following thier guide, Gollum/Sm’agol. They nearly fell into a pit, and then they realised two things. One, Gollum/Sm’agol was no longer around. Two, something worse was around. Sam laid a hand on his sword, and Edy remembered the Phial of Galadriel.
"The Lady! The light of EÍrendil! A light when all other lights go out!"
"Indeed only light can help us now," said Frodo, slowly. And so he held aloft the Phial of Galadriel. It power waxed, and light shone everywhere, sparkling with white fire. They gazed at it, at last noting its full worth. "Aiya EÍrendil Elenion Ancalima!" And suddenly, they saw two many clustered eyes. And the light was broken, and it dimmed to a dull shine. They began to run, but Edy stopped them.
Frodo held the Phial in his left, taking his sword in his right hand. Edy notched an arrow, and Sam held his sword aloft. Slowly, Frodo advanced, and the eyes fled. And as soon as they were gone, they fled to the tunnel's end. But they were stopped by a spiderweb, which flung them back. Edy let loose her arrow, and the web flared with fire and was gone. They escaped through, and only Edy knew there were many more exits from Shelob's lair.
Sauron knew where she lurked. Gollum/Sm’agol knew also, thought it was Gollum who had plotted to bring them by this way, so he could get the Precious. But none of this was know to any except Edy.
Sam who held the light of EÍrendil, shoved it in his clothes. And no sooner than he had done so than Shelob came. She squeezed out of the exit, and moved with quick speed towards Frodo. Either she did not see Edy and Sam or avoided them as bearers of the light. But as Sam moved to yell, he only got out a few words before Gollum seized him. And so Gollum and Sam tussled while Edy tried to distract Shelob, without actually getting hurt herself.
After what seemed a long time, Sam defeated Gollum and Gollum ran off, and Sam ran after him, but he remembered Frodo and ran back to Frodo. And Shelob was so intent on Frodo, that she did not notice Sam and Edy descend upon her. Sam wielded Frodo's and his own swords and Edy released few arrows, waiting for her arrows to gain much power before release.
And so it was Shelob's fault she was pierced by the blades of Frodo and Sam, having thrust herself down on them as Sam thrust into her stomach. And her wound caused her so much pain that she leapt backwards. Sam and Edy fell by Frodo's side, and looked as Shelob gathered herself for a spring.
Sam grabbed the Phial and said faintly, "Galadriel!" He heard clear voices far off: the crying of Elves as they walked under the stars in the Shire and the music of the Elves in the House of Elrond.
And his tongue was loosened and he spoke words in a language he did not know.
And with that he was Samwise the hobbit, Hamfast's son again. Sam and Edy staggered to their feet and faced Shelob. And they advanced on her. As if their spirit and fury had set its potency in motion, the Phial blazed anew. The infection of light entered her eyes, and they advanced as she escaped. And whether she nursed her wounds and malice or fell dead, we do not tell that here.
They came back to Frodo, and tried to wake him, but it was to no avail. Sam stared at Frodo's pale face and anger surged over him and he went into a frenzy. When at last he calmed, he came back. Edy had stood, and was looking for a way out.
"What should I do?" he asked. "What can I do? Not leave Mr Frodo dead, unburied on this mountain? Go home? Or go on?" Fear shook him. "Is that what I've got to do? Leave him and go on?" And he wrapped Frodo's cloak around him, and laid his staff beside him. He picked up Sting, and gave Frodo his own sword.
"I must take Sting, master. You've got your mithril coat. And you lent me your star-glass, but I must take that as well. I hope you understand. I've got to go on."
Time went by and he could not go on. And finally, he knew that he must see the Quest through. And after debating it out loud, but to himself, he looked for the Ring. "I must take it. If I don't, they may find it, and we'll have failed." And so he took the Ring from around Frodo's neck, and no change came over his features.
And so Samwise Gamgee, son of Hamfast, a hobbit of the Shire, and a member of the Fellowship of the Ring by rights and by earning his place, was convinced that Frodo had died and laid aside the Quest.
Placing it around his own neck, he felt the Ring's weight. Then, as it seemed to grow less or new strength awoke he turned to go. And saw Edy, and was startled.
March 13th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
"Let's go, Sam." And so the two went off. After passing the Cleft, they took the road. And they were caught. Edy gasped, grabbed Sam and with a word, cloaked them in the folds of her Ninjetti magic. With only moments to go before they would be seen, she shook her head, and had to release him. Sam put on the Ring, reluctantly, but in need. And so they were both invisible. Sam could feel an Eye searching for him.
They listened to the Orcs arguing and then were shocked as they came to realise that Frodo's body was discovered. Racing back, they were in time to see his body being taken. They followed the Orcs cautiously, but were lucky to keep the distance from growing overly long between them and the last. And as they listened to the debating of the two captains, Shagrat and Gorbag, their blood was chilled.
The Orcs had figured there must be at least one more person with Frodo. And worse than that, Frodo was alive. He wasn't dead, and your heart knew it! Sam thought. You shouldn't trust your head, it's not the best part of you, Samwise! And they managed to somehow get into a tunnel leading to the rear gate of the tower of Cirith Ungol, as far as Edy could tell. Going along that passage, they listened more, following carefully and quickly and found that Frodo would be placed in the top chamber of the tower.
Racing ahead, they saw two double doors, leading likely into a lower chamber of the tower. The Orcs went in, and the doors slammed to and iron bars fell into place.
Sam and Edy were out in the Darkness.
Frodo was alive.
But he was taken by the Enemy.
"How absolutely wonderful." Edy's voice dripped sarcasm. "We must now rescue Frodo, or perish in the attempt."
"Perishing's more likely, Miss Edith," muttered Sam. "Not to mention it's easier." So, in silence, they made their way to the stone door of the orc-passage. Climbing over it, and retracing steps, somehow they found themselves at the place where Sam had worn the Ring, unable to be cloaked in Edy's Ninjetti magic. Again they put on the Ring and activated the magic.
And from there, they moved together, hand in hand. And soon they were passing under the walls of the Tower, Edy struggling desperately to enfold them both in her Ninjetti magic, because Sam had had to take off the Ring, for he feared to be caught. She could only theorise that she had so much trouble because she was trying to use the Ninjetti when it was already being used. But luckily for both her and Sam, she was able to keep them covered until they were inside the Tower of of Cirith Ungol.
And so they passed through the rooms, Edy seeking one particular room. They found a flight of stairs and went up and up, dealing with each little menacing orc as they came along. Sting was very handy in these cases. Suddenly, they froze, hearing a dangerous argument between the orcs in the Tower. And soon, Shagrat, Snaga and Gorbag, the three arguing orcs were fighting. Shagrat soon killed the one called Gorbag.
They quickly continued, and came to a dead end. Retracing their steps, they finally were defeated. And Edy began to sing, Sam quickly joining in.
No sooner had they finished, they heard a voice.
"Shut it, you rat, or I'll come up there and make you!!" No answer came. "I'll just come and look at you all the same!" And so Snaga came up, went up a ladder and they followed him. As Snaga drew back the bolt, Edy fired an arrow, killing him instantly. They raced themselves up the ladder.
March 14th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
And Frodo lay there on the floor, naked, atop filthy rags. He looked up at the two, and gasped.
"I must be dreaming. But the other dreams were horrible!"
"Frodo Baggins, you are not dreaming. And to quote Mephistopheles, didn't he once say: Why, this is not Hell, nor am I out of it?" asked Edy. Frodo merely smiled.
"You've only been here a day, Mr Frodo," said Sam. "And the sooner we are gone, the better."
"One day . . . " Frodo muttered. "It seems so much longer. But the Orcs stripped me of everything, and I have not been able to move, for fear and pain. I have had a pain in my left shoulder."
"I will do what I can, once we are gone from here. But what should we do?" asked Edy. Frodo looked at her despairingly.
"Don't you understand? They have taken everything! The Quest has failed! And now the Shadow will return!"
"Not quite everything, Frodo," said Edy. "And it has not failed yet." And Sam brought out the Ring. "Sam took the Ring, for we feared you dead, and we knew the Quest must not fail. As you are the appointed one to carry the Ring, then Sam will hand it over. But know this: Sam, nor I wished to take it from you." And Sam, reluctantly almost, handed Frodo the Ring. "Go now Sam, and find us what you may. Call then Elbereth."
Sam nodded, and went down the ladder, and Edy drew it up. Long they waited. But soon Sam was back, with an assortment. He gave the filthy clothes to Frodo, who blanched but put them on. Edy took a cloak and murmured some soft words and placed it around her shoulders, and they for an instant saw an orc in her place. She snatched up a helmet and put it on.
Sam took all his stuff, packing it tightly. And then he too dressed as best he might.
"We have our food and all, for I took it all off you," whispered Edy. "Let us go now!" With all the speed they possessed, they went for the Gates. As they reached them, Sam drew out the Phial of Galadriel, and each of the three cried a different phrase.
Galadriel, The White Lady of the Golden Forest! fell from Sam's lips.
Gilthoniel, A Elbereth! was Frodo next.
Last was Edy, Aiya elenion ancalima!
The Watcher's Will was broken suddenly and they raced out, heard but unseen. The archway collapsed. It was the day after they had found Frodo in the Tower, and now they raced for the Morgai. In escaping, they succeeded, but they suffered a humiliating drop into foot long thorns, and their escape from that proved less successful.
They turned northwards, and at length they paused and Frodo and Sam fell asleep. After a while, she woke them and they continued onwards. Only once did they stop, for Edy to cast a spell to make Frodo's raiment lighter so that he need not be weighed down by naught save the Ring.
It still was dark, and it only seemed to get darker as they moved onwards. Edy was deadly silent and spoke not at all, and though she had not spoken much beforehand, the contrast was still very sharp. When Frodo felt a Nazg€l on winged mount overhead, they stopped and waited until it had passed. And something was different, in the air.
"My God," muttered Edy.
"It's not going the way He wants," added Frodo.
"The Darkness is breaking up!"cried Sam. "The war may yet still be won!"
The morning was that of March 15th, and Th’oden lay dying in the Pelennor Fields. And even as that happened, the Sun lifted over the shadow, and gave the Three of Mordor hope. But in Frodo's mind the Ring was so very heavy, and it was so too around his neck. He saw it as a great wheel of Fire, and he began to despair. Sharing Faramir's food, they went onwards. Traversing a beaten path, Edy recalled the last time this path might have been taken, when Elrond Half-elven took Isildur to the Cracks of Mount Doom.
But the hearts of men are easily corrupted. And the Ring of Power has a will of its own.
Onwards they fought their way northwards, by this perilous path, for they might be stopped by anyone bearing messages. But none did come and soon they passed to water, which Edy took up in her water-bottle, and purified it, and so they quickly quenched their thirst thusly. Beyond the Morgai, there was the plains of Gorgoroth, which they chose not to attempt that day. Instead they camped, and ate a little more of the food of Faramir. Once more Frodo and Sam slept, and Edy watched, allowing herself five minutes half sleep every hour. For now she needed sleep, deep in the land of Mordor.
The next day they went on. The Mountain of Fire seemed much closer, as they could now see it, and yet no closer. Still the Ring weighed heavily on Frodo's mind, and now being able to see Mount Doom, was no comfort. They had need to leave the Morgai and seek another path, and they quickly and quietly passed whatever orc-host and orc-resting place they passed.
"We must be silent," muttered Edy. "Yes, silence is good, but there is just something in this air that mars silence when silence is!"
"Don't fret, Miss Edith," pleaded Sam. "We are getting along better, aren't we?"
To which she made no response. And soon they were sure that Gollum/Sm’agol still lived, and was quite possibly coming to find them. Edy spoke quickly of the treachery, and then they continued onwards, getting away from the orc-host that had failed in tracking them. They had no clear idea of how much longer they would be going and the Quest was beginning to weigh on them all. Sam, because he had not been in Rivendell and heard what Lord Elrond had said. And Edy because she wished to be the Ring-bearer, and so use her magic to just go straight to their destination and cast it in, before it would grab a hold of her.
And because of this selfless desire, the Ring tormented her, but not as much as it tormented poor Frodo. Still, they pressed onwards, ever searching for that safe place where they might find a few hours' precious sleep or beyond hoping by now, they might find themselves at their final destination.
But their luck ran out.
For they were captured by orcs. But luck remained with them still, if only because they were thought to be deserters. Again by pure chance, they escaped, and were able to hide in a shallow pit.
"What shall we do now?" asked Edy, her face dirtied and smeared with grime, blood, dust and sweat.
"Let's just go to sleep," muttered Sam, looking just as bad as Edy. Frodo said nothing, for he was already asleep.
March 22nd, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
They stayed there for some time, and they turned to the south. To Mount Doom. Onwards they travelled, in much haste and yet much slowness. At this day they had walked in absolute silence, no noise at at coming from any of the Three of Mordor. Nightfall came, and during that night, they came to hate it. And the next day, they went on, miserably.
"Let us cast away everything we shall not need," Edy spoke. "This road we need less, and then at the end, nothing."
Taking her advice, they removed their loads. And Sam took them to a fissure, and cast them in, and tears came as he heard his cooking gear just go. All they had now was a bit of food, no more than four days worth, and their gifts that Galadriel had given them. No more, no less. And then with some new strength, they began their assault. That day passed, with many thoughts of what came after victory passing through each head.
And the next came, and they came now to the foot of the Mountain where sleep took them.
March 25th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
Now with Sam carrying Frodo, and Edy anxiously plotting their path, and also doing her part in carrying Frodo as she could, they went as far as they could, and then rested some. When they were rested a little, they began to come up to the place.
And once they were there, Edy grabbed Frodo's hands, for they wished to take the Ring. But most unfortunately, they were now attacked by Gollum, who now wanted the Ring.
"You cheatses us, Sm’agol is cheatses by you cruel little hobbitses." He grappled with Frodo, who finally cast him off.
Frodo now spoke in a terrible voice. "Down, creeper! Your time is up, and you shall not betray me at the end! If you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom."
Frodo walked on further, and Gollum/Sm’agol now blubbered for mercy and pity. And recalling what Edy had said ì Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Pity and Mercy; not to strike without need. Deserves death? I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends. ì Sam cursed again, and let him go, chasing after Frodo. Even as he got there, Edy stood in shock.
Frodo spoke clearly and loudly. "I choose not to do what I came to do! The Ring is mine!" As he claimed the Ring and placed it on, many things happened.
Edy and Sam were struck and fell down. The Power in Barad-d€r was shaken and the Eye of Sauron was suddenly aware of him and looked towards him. And now he was consumed by fear, for his folly was laid before him, and he saw clearly the thread on which his doom hung. And the Nazg€l now raced for Mount Doom, in a desperate attempt. As Sam and Edy got up, they saw Gollum/Sm’agol fighting with an unseen foe.
No words were spoken by any of the four on that mountain top. Suddenly, white fangs gleamed, and with a bite, Frodo snapped into visibility again. Gollum/Sm’agol held the Ring, a finger still within it. And with a shriek of Precious! he fell into the Fire of Doom, shrieking all the while.
With a great noise and geysers of fire there seemed to come a great explosion, quaking the earth, ripping the air from Mordor to Eriador.
"The end is come, Edy, Sam," spoke Frodo, now at peace with everything, though pale and worn. "Gandalf was right. Even Gollum may have something yet to do? Were it not for him, the Ring would not have been unmade."
"I have nothing to bind your hand with," said Edy.
"I would have spared a whole hand of mine," muttered Sam.
"No matter," said Frodo. "I am glad that you are with me. Here at the end of all things."
The Host of Mordor raged in the vicinity of battle. Each person fought the Host of Mordor as best they might, but Gandalf and Aragorn stood, simply looking at the battle. And then as if receiving some signal, Gandalf looked north and then cried: The Eagles are coming! And many voices took up this cry: The Eagles are coming! The Eagles are coming! Then came Gwaihir the Winglord and Landroval his brother. They swooped upon the Nazg€l, who fled, hearing a call from the Dark Tower. The Host of Mordor even then failed as they felt the will that drove them be removed from them.
And Gandalf called: "Men of the West! Stand and wait. For come is the hour of doom." As he spoke, the earth and air quaked and ripped. And the Tower and the Black Gates were hurled into ruin and a great darkness, flickering with fire rose above them. And they saw a shape of shadow rear up and reach out a hand towards them, but it was swept away by the wind.
"The realm of Sauron is ended!" proclaimed Gandalf. "The Ring-Bearer has fulfilled his Quest." The Captains bowed their heads, and ere they looked again, the Power of Mordor was failed, and the Mordor-host was scattering as dust in the wind. Gandalf left such matters of command and battle to Aragorn, and leaping upon Gwaihir, he asked to be borne to Mount Doom. And so they flew, outmatching the Nazg€l.
In joyful silence the Three of Mordor went aways from the Crack of Doom, til they could go no futher, for the ruination of the Mountain was becoming an island, and they simply had not the strength or will to go any further. With great effort, Edy changed into her owl form, and so bore them away.
"We've been in a mighty tale," said Sam. "I wish I could hear it told! Maybe they'll say: Now comes the tale of Nine-fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom? And then everyone will hush and they'll hear."
He fell silent, for Edy was now in sight of Gwaihir. But then, her last reserves of strength failed, and she fell through the air, growing smaller in size and form, till at last they three all were falling. Into blessed blackness.
April 8th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
When at last they woke, memory flooded back. "What happened?" asked Edy, rather sleepily.
"The Quest is completed, Sauron is defeated, and you tried to bear your friends away from that land, but failed in your strength. Then you were all borne to Ithilien, in the keeping of the King, and he now doth awaits," said Gandalf.
"I thought you were dead!" cried Frodo and Sam together, hugging him.
"I am not. But how do you three feel?"
"I have not slept hardly at all whilst on this Quest. Just let me go back to sleep!" And with that, Edy fell into a deep sleep.
Sam laughed gaily, and said, "I feel . . . well, like spring after winter, and sun on leaves, and like a great mess of trumpets and harp playing all songs I have ever known and then some! Shame about Miss Edith, though. But she would insist on being the guard. And what about Mr Frodo's hand?"
"I am fine," said Frodo. "Excepting my hand, but it is small price to pay for the freedom we have won together. It must be nearly noon."
Edy grumbled and sat up. "Obviously, I won't be getting much sleep with you all blabbering on. Noon of the eighth of April in the Shire-Reckoning. And now in Gondor, the New Year will always begin on the twenty-fifth of March when Sauron fell, thus making this the fourteenth of the New Year."
"Correct, Edy," said Gandalf. "Now you must cover up in your raiment of Mordor, and come before the King. Later, you shall be properly dressed. No other raiment could be more honorable." Holding out his hands, he showed them four treasures, one of which shone with light. "Your treasures of the Lady Galdriel in the Golden Wood."
They now washed and clad themselves, and followed Gandalf. They were surprised to see knights in bright mail and guards clad in black silver greeting them with honor. As trumpets were blown, they came to a wide green land, beyond it a wide river, and a wooded isle, with many ships docked.
As they approached, swords were drawn, spears were shaken and horns, trumpets and harps made music, and the men cried out in many voices and languages:
"I wish now, that I had not stayed up that first day to explain what occurred, for then they would not be using my name for us," muttered Edy, so that only Sam and Frodo heard. "The Three of Mordor. Could they have not come up with something better?"
As they approached, they saw three high seats of green turves set up. Behind the right was a banner, white on green, a horse running free. Behind the left was a banner, silver upon blue, a ship swanprowed faring on the sea. And in the middle was a banner, white upon pink, an arrow blazing like fire. On that throne, sat a man clad in mail, a great sword laid across his knees, but no helm was worn. He rose, and stepped down to meet them. And they rushed towards him.
"Aragorn!!!" cried Edy. And Frodo followed, and Sam did too, but at a lesser pace, for he knew not this man.
"Yes, Edy. A long way from when I first saw you, but yours has been the darkest road," he said. And then he bowed to them and first set Sam upon the left, and then Frodo upon the right. Turning to Edy, he offered his hand, and he set her upon the middle throne. He turned then to the host assembled, and cried:
"Praise them with great praise!"
And when the roar diminished, Aragorn, Gandalf, Trini, Adam, Legolas and Gimli were brought forward by Edith's request, and they were seated upon chairs. Then a minstrel stepped forward and requested leave to sing of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom.
Sam wept, as did all the host. But there was laughter, too. When all finished, the Company of the Ring then were taken away to quietly just reconnect before they ate. Each member save for the Three were arrayed in splendour, and so they were too. Gandalf himself enclad Frodo in his mithril mail and elven cloak, and Sam in gilded mail and his elven cloak, and he gave them their two swords.
Frodo said to Sam, "I give Sting to you, Sam." But Sam refused, and so Frodo wore Sting, while Sam bore his own sword, given to Frodo in Shelob's lair.
And Edy was clothed in a long shimmering white dress, accentuated with pink highlights. It was of the fashion of the Elven-folk, and Trini pulled her hair into a loose twist, threading the flower simbelmyn‰ through her hair. Circlets of silver were set on their heads, and they then came to the King's Table. The Fellowship was together now, for a last while, before all would be restored.
Within the City, many preparations were made for the coming of the King. And in the Houses of Healing, Faramir and ªowyn plighted their troth, and thus waited for King ªomer to return. And on May first, the Captains of the West returned to Minas Tirith. And Faramir came up to Aragorn and knelt.
Holding out a white rod, he said, "The last Steward of Gondor begs leave to surrender his office."
Aragorn took the rod, and gave it back, saying, "That office is not ended, Faramir, Steward of Gondor, and shall be thine and thy heirs' as long as my line shall last. Do now thy office!"
Standing and speaking now in a clear voice, Faramir proclaimed, "Hear now the Steward of this Realm! One has come to claim the Kingship again at last. Here is before us, Aragorn son of Arathorn, chieftain of the DËnedain of Arnor, Captain of the Host of the West, bearer of the Star of the North, wielder of the Sword Reforged, victorious in battle, whose hands bring healing, the Elf-stone, Elessar of the line of Valandil, Isildur's son, Elendil's son of NËmenor. Shall he be King and come and dwelleth in the White City of Gondor?" And all assembled cried yea with the same voice.
And Faramir took the crown. Pure white, and the wings of each side were of pearl and silver, in the shape of a sea-bird. Seven gems of adamant were set in the circlet, and on the summit was a single jewel, the light of which was as a flame.
And Frodo took the crown by the will of Aragorn and bore it to Gandalf, Mithrandir, who set it upon Aragorn's head. In the days that followed, King Elessar sat upon his throne in the Halls of Kings, and with him were all the Fellowship, as was his request. With them there, he pronounced his judgements upon those that were to be judged.
And Beregond was brought before him. Looking at him, Aragorn proclaimed: "by the sword of Beregond, blood was spilt in the Hallows, where that is forbidden. You also left your post without the leave of the Lord or Captain. In the days of old, death was the penalty. But your penalty is remitted for your valour in battle, and many times over because you did so for the love of the Lord Faramir."
Beregond looked hopeful. "Nevertheless, you are now to leave the Guard of the Citadel, and go forth from the City of Minas Tirith." Trini leapt to her feet at that, for she felt it was her fault that this was happening. "So it must be, Lady Trini, for he is appointed to the White Company, the Guard of Faramir, Prince of Ithilien, and you shall be its Captain and dwell in Emyn Arnen in honor and peace and in the service of who you risked all to save him from death." And noting his mercy and justice, Trini subsided and Beregond departed. And as he had said, Faramir was given Ithilien as his princedom.
The days passed like water over the Falls of Rauros. Come the 25th of June, Aragorn found a sapling of the White Tree of Gondor. And they replaced it in the spot of the withered tree, near the fountain. Come Mid-year's Day, the Elven-folk had been in the City some fifteen days or so, and on that day, Aragorn the King Elessar wedded Arwen Und¾miel, and their tale of long waiting and labours was brought to fulfillment.
And Edy, Trini and Adam agreed to at least wait for ªomer before Edy was to do what she knew she must.
July 18th, 3019 in the Shire-Reckoning.
So it was that ªomer, King of Rohan came to Minas Tirith with an ’ored of the fairest knights. He was welcomed, and he beheld all the ladies in their beauty. And then He sent for Gimli the Dwarf, and he said: "Gimli Gl¾in's son, have you your axe ready?"
"No, but were there need, it should be in my hand faster than Legolas could smite you," replied Gimli.
"Very well. For there are certain words between us, concerning the Lady of the Golden Wood. Now that I have seen her myself, I would answer those words," said ªomer.
"Very well, and what say you now?" asked Gimli.
"I will not say that she is the fairest lady that ever lived," returned ªomer.
"Then I must go for my axe," sighed Gimli.
"But had I seen her as did you, I would have said all you wished. But I will now put Queen Arwen Evenstar first, and I will do battle on my part with any who deny me. Shall I call for my sword, GËthwin‰?"
But Gimli excused him. "You have chosen the Evening; but my love is for the Morning, and I fear it may soon pass away forever."
And now the parting was come on the three Rangers. And Aragorn, Arwen, ªowyn, Faramir, ªomer, they had many gifts they would wish to give them. But Edy refused all, saying: In my due time, I will have all I ever wanted. So is my wish that it should be as it has been. For soon I shall receive from the Elves what they gave to me in name only, many years past. Then I shall keep in store the weapons of the Three Kindred and raiment of the Elves. I wish for nothing more. But at their insistence she relented, and she took a pure white spherical gem, its diameter being the span of her hand.
And to Trini Aragorn and Arwen gave her a standard, to be hers and her house: An eagle in outstretched glory, a leaf of Lothl¾rien and a sabre-toothed tiger against a back of yellow. From ªowyn and ªomer she was blessed with a shield of Rohan, with a horse borne upon the front. It was Xali, who had borne her until she had gone to Minas Tirith. And Faramir regretted he had nothing worthy to give the one who had come to his aid and saved him, but he gave her a sapling of Ithilien, to forever bloom in leaves and flowers to use for adorning her raven tresses.
And to Adam Faramir gave him a horn of Gondor, writ with ancient characters and bound in thin strips of emerald. From ªomer and ªowyn he received a sword such as the Men of Rohan used. And lastly, Arwen and Aragorn gave to him his standard, to be his and his house. A field of green, upon which was seen a frog, two crossed wands and a lighter green square, in which was seen a crystal.
The three thanked the five for their kindness, shouldered their packs, and at last, Edy began to make her spell. They joined hands, and in a blaze of green, pink and yellow they began to see the events that should have been.
Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin coming to Bree. Meeting Strider. Coming to Weathertop, and from there to Rivendell. The Council of Elrond and the Forging of the Fellowship of the Ring. Setting out on the Quest of Mount Doom. Coming to Caradhras, and then into the Mines of Moria. Gandalf's fall. Coming then to L¾rien, and the Mirror of Galadriel. The river journey to Parth Galen, and the Breaking of the Fellowship. The Three Kindred's pursuing the Orcs. Frodo and Sam's journey over the Emyn Muil and taming of Sm’agol. The Entmoot and meeting Gandalf the White. The Passage of the Dead Marshes. Coming to Rohan.
The march on Isengard. The retreating to Helm's Deep and subsequent battle. Parley with Saruman. Gandalf's setting out for Minas Tirith with Peregrin Took. The meeting of Frodo and Sam with Faramir. The DËnedain overtaking Aragorn. Taking the 'Paths of the Dead'. Coming to the Morgul-road. The Dawnless Day. Muster of Rohan. Coming to Shelob's lair. Captured by the Orcs of Cirith Ungol. Faramir's wounding. Finding Frodo in the Tower. Besiegement of Minas Tirith. Denethor's death. Battle of the Pelennor and Th’oden's death. Host of the West's march from Minas Tirith. Turning south to Mount Doom.
The Host passing out of Ithilien. Frodo and Sam casting away their arms and gear. The surrounding of the Host on the Slag-hills. The Destruction of the Ring.
All this passed by their eyes in an instant. And then they turned to the afterevents. And they saw the Elves before they diminished, give Edy what they had only given in name before. They saw her take the weapons of the Three Kindred and garb of elven raiment. The Fourth Age began to pass, and then they saw that Arda disappeared, to be replaced by their own Earth. They gasped at that. It continued on, in their own history of their kind. Til at long last, they saw the slopes of Angel Grove, and the Power Rangers fighting. Their own subsequent vanishment and the dealings of it.
Three flashes again passed their eyes of green, pink, and yellow. And Edy cried out:
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet
And whither then? I cannot say.
The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.
Author's Note: Well, thanks for reading this little epic saga. I have no idea what possessed me to write it, but write it I did. It was quite fun for me to write, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it. Please note, this is just meant to be a crazy spin off of LOTR, and therefore would as I planned it, followed the events as laid out in the book, but I would hope that I was able to change the workings of those events, given that they had people who were not Hobbits as the Shire-folk say, Halflings as the Men call them, Periannath for the Elven tongue, or finally holbytla in the speech of Rohan.