The Fellowship Series
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
I. Gandalf: In the Beginning
I knew him. Betimes, since I have but this lesser form, and only these words, (words like trees whose limbs only seem to touch the sky), betimes I forget what we were...
What he was....
A creature of fire-pure radiance, like crystal adamant he shone in the
light of the First Morning, and his Song rose and woke the unreachable
Each phrase of it beyond compare, forged in surety within the dark,
touching with glancing brilliance the Lamps and the tender flowering of
the Trees, writing itself like ice-chilled flame upon the winds that
drift across the un-plumbed bowl of the heavens....
And ending, like the very stairs of Light themselves, at the Song-clad feet of another such creature.
That one became his Master, and ordered his Song, made (and unmade) him.
A long weary age, that was, a long accounting of countless moments as
beauty slid to unredeemable evil, as Light dimmed before the onslaught
of night, and dark became a fearful thing.
We were both given form, then, or rather, I was given form, while he, as ever, took what was never his by right or designation.
I knew him, this being of departed, unbearable beauty.
I know him, this creature, who, for all his power, may no longer cover his evil with a mask of light.
Master and Slave to the golden child born of his prideful malice. Lord
of Abomination. Wolf, serpent, fell drinker of dark blood, Eye of
Sauron. We shall not win through by strength of arms. But we shall win through.
*** Source for the history of Sauron, from Maia to miscreant: The Encyclopedia of Arda
II. Aragorn: Onen i-Estel
How very wide the World has grown. Wide, and fearful, tossed and
fretted like the great Sea my fathers so loved. And all my care,
all the toil of myself and my few brethren remaining, cannot serve to
hold back its tide.
It is not often, now, that the sons of my Lord find me. Joy,
followed quick by dread, wars within my heart. Elrohir, he who
taught me first to draw a bow, touches my shoulder in greeting.
Eyes dark, steady with the passing of many years, hold mine. The beauty
of the fair speech, falling from his lips like slow music, cannot
disguise the sorrow of his message:
In far-off Eriador, alone, while still the earth slept beneath its burden of snow, my mother has died.
Oddly, I look to my hands. A man's hands. A Ranger's hands,
rough with weather and war, scored by time and ill-use.
A child's hands, unsure, touching silvered points of a broken blade,
knowing not why it called to me, called to my very hands as if its
strange runes were keening upon a wind which only I might hear....
a child's hands, one safely warmed inside her own, the other holding
with care a great silver-grey bound book. There is writing
within, tales of kings long forgotten, battles, ages of honour and
And last, the grievous account of defeat within victory, of bitter dishonour served upon the arrogance of high-helmed Men.
I bow my head. I am a child no longer, only my mother's
son. And my father's. A lifetime have I spent, mending with
slight hope the faults of the past. And now the test is upon me,
bending me as if to the wheel.
Never before have I known aught but scorn for him, this over-proud man whose ill-timed desire forever dooms us.....
Time narrows, pushes me with haste and need. And at last, with
foreboding, I am given to understand his choice.
A gift, a gift of sight the people of my blood have. A gift, and, still, a curse. For I see
this thing, afar off, and it calls me, pledges itself to me, to my
House. If only I should take it, wield it, by my forebears' power
wrest good from this evil.....
Our House should be rebuilt, and all the stain of sorrow eased beneath the freshened Light of the Tree......
Elrohir's hand rests still upon my shoulder. Elladan, as ever, stands
sentinel by his side. Their eyes are bright with more than the
light of their people. They know my choice, my sorrow, my
they know my Hope......
III. Boromir: For the Honour of the White Tower
The Halfling of the tales of old.
And this…….person, who in both stature and bearing, seems but a child
to me, holds our future, our doom. From the North he is, like the
Ranger, so un-kempt and un-kingly. Pawns of wizards and Elves,
both of them, toys, though they see it not, in this war.
Not all our woes, seemingly, have arisen from the East, though likely
now it is that all shall pass into, and be devoured by, that dark land.
Madness, madness even more complete than that which stays within the
noble halls of my fathers……
He sent me on this errantry, my father. Too many long days, too
many dark nights spent upon the endless wheel of his Stewardship, while
our lands dwelt beneath the Shadow, have, at last, driven him beyond
despair. I well know what he desires, what he looks for from his
I must bring this wergild, this bane
of Men, to him. Together, we might yet wrest Light from the
Darkness that steals across our lands. Together, we might yet
restore all that was lost. Together……
If I have hope of coming again to the White Tower, bearing this gift, I must need pledge myself to this folly, this Quest. And so I do, my hope, like my heart, divided by fear and doubt.
Of one thing alone am I certain: if ever the Ring of Power and
its mortal heir come to my City, we should defeat our Enemy.
On this road, already long and weary, I have come to know the
Halflings. As if they were my own kin, I care for them.
They know not yet of war, nor the bloody deeds which must come,
if follow this road we must. In the high snows of Caradhras, I
carried them, in Moria's foul pits, I put my body between them
and death. The wizard fell there, taking both evil and much of
our hope with him.
My father would have bid him good speed and a fair journey, my brother
would have grieved at the loss of the one he knew as
And I ………
I see only the shadow that fell and stayed upon a face of innocence,
followed close by silence and a turning-away in more than body.
A certainty rises within me: it will not, cannot be long
now. Already, in deed, if not in fact, he falters, the burden
growing too large for his will.
It would be a mercy, would it not, mercy (and hard necessity) to ease him of it……..
If I should come upon him, alone…..
He has not the strength of body to best me, should my arguments fail to sway him to my cause.
In the midst of all my care, I have betrayed them:
My people, my city, my father.
Worse, (and the reasoning runs in circles (circles bound by gold)
within my mind): I have doubled my betrayal in my oath's
What hope there might have been fled away from me, a frightened shadow running towards the bright division of the river.
As if in a dream, I see the boat spinning, seeming empty, upon the
current, as if in a dream, I know that I soon shall follow this same
I am, first and last, a soldier of the White Tower. If it is
given that I shall not see her spires again, nor hear the gentle rain
of the fountain hard by the Tree, at the very least I shall find my
I will come to her in the winds that take upon themselves the stridence
of this horn, in the remembrance of these little ones who shall,
perchance, live to tell this tale…..
I raise my sword against the swift-running tide…….
IV. Pippin: Two Soldiers
(with an introduction from my Lord Faramir)
A mere lad he seems, this un-tried Periannath from the strange land to
the north. Not even to my shoulder does the impertinence of his
copper-piece burnished head reach, yet somehow, behind the play of his
smile and the unbroken glint of his eye, there is abiding strength. I
feel it, as sure as roots cleave to earth and stars to sky, I feel
There is more to know than that which lies apparent in laughter-turned
eyes: in their depths, in well-hidden shadow, there rests a too-soon
learning, a too-near sorrow.
With blunt-edged grief, I picture the lost one he somehow puts me in mind of.
There will be no time, now, for the soft, slow turning of the seasons,
no time for lively youth to hone its metal, cure to tried, considered
No time. Not for us. Not for him.
He speaks to me of the lone courage of my brother's end.....I have no
coin to repay him with other than that of the bitter memory of his
His head remains proud, unbent, beneath the weight of my tale.
Two soldiers in the service of a lost King, we are, two lives singing a
last song beneath the flickering of the Kindled Lamps, beneath the
still'd branches of an ancient dream.
My father speaks my name into the gathering night.....
The Lady foretold that I should find my courage. And so I
have. My fingers trace the outline of the Tree, touch the promise
of stars arrayed like a crown about it. His livery. The one
who has come without wishing to war. Like me.
He rode out from the city today, sent on a fool's errantry. And
now the fog curls thick upon the plain below, and the harsh fire in the
east flickers, damped to mere candle-flame ......
It is said, you know, that folk of my blood have the Sight. Never have I thought much upon this (nor of it), but tonight....
Perhaps tonight we....I……. shall die, not ever to see any of them in this world again, and so I must seek them in the only way I can....
The winds of the World shift with the sweet scents of home. My quick
little pony, wild with Spring, forelock tied with clover, runs loose in
the field. Quiet hangs within the great-room. I see Mum,
The spinning arc of stars pulls me away......
An encampment, tents large…….. large, like those of men. Men
arming for war, faces grim and touched by desperate fear.
And in the midst of them, a small form, head clasped within a brass
helm, jerkin hiding bare knees.....
He smiles in saucy-sly pleasure at the near-useless sword which threatens nothing save the blind night.
Oh, Merry. When, in all this strange world, did you become so foolish? And how, in all the miles and the darkness which lie between us, shall I ever find you again?
In between the fear which seeks to stop my breath there is steadfast determination: this time it shall be left to me to pull you from beneath trouble's weal……….
Another encampment, if such it could be called, the smell of waiting death lying close about it.
Oh, Lady. I do not wish to see them thus.
In a summer now long-gone by, a voice softer than memory spoke to me of
Elven stars, and the green that lives in the First Forest and the Light
that dwells beyond the shore of the Sundering Sea.
It is almost stilled now, that voice. Even the quiet words that
recall home, that speak of comfort in red-hewn dark meet with naught
but absent keening, as if that which drives the sound is even now a
thing of shadow and dread night.
It is not, after all, such a terrible thing to simply die. With all my heart, and all my hope, if one wish should be granted me, I wish that for them: a simple death.
It is what I would share with them, after all: a journey from
that which is known and feared to that which is unknown but
welcome. The Sight (and the wise and somehow joyous wizard at my
side) have told me that.
I shall see them....see them all again. It is enough. It is more than enough.
I bow my head and wait for what is to come. There are still tears
In the press of on-rushing darkness, I speak aloud the only word of the Fair Speech it is given me to still recall:
Gimli and Legolas: Morranon
Stout lad. Though ne'er stout nor lad.
Bodies, like slag from silver, heap about us, dying limbs spray us
about with bright/dark blood. And still the count rises, and
still we stand, unhurt.
Never might I have thought the sound of axe cleaving life from these
foul creatures might sicken me, yet I wish now it might need fall no
more. Notched with the bite of bone, the fine blade wrought
by the smiths of my fathers rises and falls without pause, running ever
with the reminders of death.
At my back the Elf stands, bow singing in the dark of this day.
In memory lost, the music of the Fair Folk twines 'round the tight,
harsh whisper of string. The store of arrows, bound about with
gold-tipped feathers, are near spent. From the bodies which
lie about us, I ken he shall not be in short supply……
A great cave-troll is upon the field. Friend and foe fall beneath
his rage. Dark advances with him, falling heavy as starless night
upon my heart.
I cannot breathe, can no longer lift my arm.
Beside me, now, an almost-song rises. I know not these words, but this song………
It is a song of the Sea, and the chant of it folds in about me, stays me in this last moment from despair……
And I know what time is, to him, now, as this soft seeming-keening
holds me, as if to an ageless river of gold, a river stayed in its very
course by this woven Song.
My folk would call this a death-song. The bow no longer sings
close on my ear. We will not meet in the Halls, he and I. I
bow my head. In my heart, I call out to my fathers….
Side-to-side we stand now. The almost-stilled call of the Sea rises like its own tide about us………
Only a moment, it has all been. A moment in a dream tied end-to-end by Forest and Sea.
And now the dream parts, like the ragged grey-red clouds above, the
speech of root and branch giving over to the Song held close upon the
Never shall I see that Shore, nor the one that lies beyond it.
And the Song grows within me, spills like light itself from my lips.
We have fought well, Elf and Dwarf, Dwarf and Elf………. I have lost, by
now, the count of my misshapen kinsmen-by-malice-born who lie about
us. No more a game, this, no more the strange-sad joy of sending
them on their long journey.
Back-to-back we stood, but we shall face what waits for us now
side-to-side. Blunt fingers hold yet the axe which might have
been mate to mighty Dramborleg, buried long in all save memory.
It is dark entire upon the field, dark within my heart.
No longer do I hear the sounds of battle, nor does the smell of death
rise from earth over-borne with blood. A blue-green voice of deep
grey waves runs like peace itself through me, gulls call soft in skies
woven bright with silver-gold light.……
I do not fear. I hold fast to the Song, and it to me. I grieve, only, for him, for…….
my friend-unlooked-for. We shall not meet again beyond this
Road. Never shall my eye rest, in judgement fine, upon the
held-crystal fire in the deeps of the earth, never shall I teach him
the slow speech of trees, never shown him the fairness of the
Foam-flower*, ever sailing upon the dark Sea of
Only death shall we share, now. Only these few moments, the black
tide advancing, the Song rising in answer, sweet and swift, rising
before us like a shield.
*Vingilot, Earendil's ship, in which he sailed to Valinor. It became the barque in which he also navigated the night-sky.
**Gimli was named "Elf-friend" for the great love between himself and
Legolas, and his reverence of the Lady
Frodo: The Choices of Master Baggins
I do not choose now to do what I came to do……
Fire without, fire within, but not such as is consuming enough to take that which is, at the last, taking me….
From somewhere far away, a voice (my own voice?) echoes in the dark of
my mind: from the beginning, in the ending, there was no
A mouth which I recognize as my own, and yet not my own, forms words, a
will which is my own, and still not my own, forces my hand to
As my small thoughts quell beneath compelling darkness, I wish without hope for death to find me.
I have failed, and all is Darkness.
For the second time in scarce over a year, I hold silent vigil as he stays within enfolding, formless sleep.
Oh, yes, I know the word, know it for having seen it.
That was what they were….nothing-ness cloaked by naught that was of this world….bits of death walking beneath the light of the sun.
That is what they were, they, and their Master…..and that which his malice wrought.
That is what he carried about his neck. That is what lay hidden, cold, above his heart.
'Twas more (and less, save to all but me) than the World its evil sought to end.
I watch him now, watch eyes moving beneath closed lids, watch the ever-so-small drifting of white-enclosed fingers.
His sleep is not so formless, at that.
I take the hand that seeks the now-blank space at his throat and speak his name into the too-quiet room.
Not the slightest alteration of breath answers me.
My own fear does. Fear which has form, for all that I can put no name to it.
Were we Home, and this my garden, a sharpened, quick-edged shear would
answer this need, would sever entire that which grows within this
But we are not Home, nor this form, so silent within its struggle, a garden.
And I struggle, myself, when he wakes and looks about, in the ordinary
light of ordinary day, and laughs, all glad and sunny-like.
His hand, still held within mine, is cool as the sweet spring of Thistle Brook. Fair, for all its loss.
Soft light seeps from where late blood flowed, twines unknowing fingers in its clear glow.
Of a sudden, I understand, and turn so that he may not see the tears standing in my eyes.
There is, within the bitter-sweet circle of this World, formless good.
In the end, it is that which took him.
I do not choose……..
At the very edge I stand, and look from grey-shrouded rock to grey-shrouded Sea. My heart stills within me.
It has been a very long while since I feared that which I do not know.
Yet, still, I do fear.
Not so much for myself, this fear, this…..disquietude. No, more for them, for in my leaving, I do them hurt.
Especially this one.
Whatever can I say to you? In all the many tales, the many words
of the Fair Speech, perhaps there is a name for that which we are, that
which we became. I have not one. In all that we bore
together (yes, together, Sam!),in the end there was but one life, split in twain by time and circumstance alone.
You are right, Sam. I cannot leave.
Just as surely, I must not, cannot remain.
Should I stay longer, there shall be an ending, still, an ending
as sure as this, a sooner and darker ending. I cannot change what
lies hidden, yet, within, nor longer hold back the darkness that paints
every moment with pain and shadow.
It seems a strange distance to the un-wholeness of my hand. And I
look all that far, fair way and see Light, spreading, touching where
evil stayed, and know with certainty that whatever life I may yet own
is beyond the circle bordered by this Sea.
Stay, Sam. Stay, and do for me as you always have:
That which I can not do for myself.
Watch over the changing of the Shire from first-green to summer-gold,
from harvest-red to winter-white. Grow your children beneath her
Sun. Fill my home with their laughter and warmth.
This is all I may leave you, Sam. All that I ever had, or shall attain to. This, and a promise:
Beyond the turning of the years, beyond the tides that rush and retreat
between what was and what is, another white-sheet'd ship shall
wait. For you, for me, for what we did, Samwise, last of the
Ringbearers, she shall wait.
If you should choose as have I.
There is song as we ride out into the harbour. It is more a
feeling than a sound, more a colour than anything else. The
Immortals, yearning towards their Home. Even Gandalf's voice
rises within the tapestry of it.
Uncle and I are the only mortals here, yet we stand not together.
His hand is about the line, his eyes towards the unseen western
shore. So torn am I, so grieved, I must look behind, must fill
myself with these last moments. I hold the Lady's Glass above my
head. The Song is all about me, surrounding me, becoming me. The
air is sweet and cold.
I feel my heart slow.
All is Light.
Meriadoc: As A Father……..
He says that I must write it down. All of it, all that I may remember of the great war of the Ring.
I don't want to,
I don't want to remember any more how we all used to be, how hard
chance (or harder choice) drove hope and heart from us, banished
laughter from our lips, wove unknown dark into the threads of our
But he says I must, my insistent cousin, whose eyes, of late, glance
not sharp and bright like the hawk for which he was named, whose eyes,
instead, hold questions and distant sorrow.
He is, after all, Thain. And, for all of that, still just Pip, who, with ne'er a word could wheedle my last bit of pipe-weed from its pouch…….
Ah. There is a memory. Even now, all these years after,
when I have lived it, know well how the tale ends, fear trails
through me, dims my eyes with tears. Of all the partings I had
known, of all those that were to come, that one cut me close, as if
half of me had vanished without warning.
And I became reckless in my abandonment. What ever was there left
me, now, so far from home, one small soldier (who knew not, even, how to be a soldier!) in the great company of Men? In the midst of them I would fall, unheeded, unknown…..
A large hand falls upon my shoulder, eyes accustomed to the bright
blood of battle look into mine with knowing kindliness.
The King. Of all these folk, these masters of swift horses and
fierce pride, the King himself seats me at his side, engages me to
speak, as if my small cares were of great import in the harsh storm of
I kneel before him. Always, always, I have been careless in my
love. And I love him, this old Man who must perforce ride (in all
haste) the path his only son has taken before him. Of a sudden, I
ken that blood matters not, not in this place, this time, so close to
death. I offer him my sword, my words falling between us in the
As a father you shall be to me.
And he answers, forging grief to grief, tying known sorrow to that which is to come:
For a little while.
How very long, sometimes, a little while might be. Years, it
seemed, were caught up in the mere count of days, months entangled in
the dread day he fell.
Out of all that day, bloodied and riven by smoke-tattered clouds, I
remember little. Like a great bowl, it was, the field, a great
bowl over-filled with the pitiable remains of war. And in
the midst of it all, my King, my father-for-a-little-while, fallen, and
evil stooping before him.
Cold seeps up my arm, still, as I walk in memory, as his eyes plead for
a death by any hand save this, as a sword flashes silver-swift in the
sullen air, as sun gleams against bright hair…….as my own arm, with its
last strength, finds for the blade of Westernesse a final
I am laughing. Laughing in the darkness of the day, as a foul
livery, stripped from its faceless form, lies empty before me. So
evil melts away, like black ice beneath a spring sun. He is safe,
my King, my father, my Lord. Safe.
The world is spinning now, dipping into night, though I believe it
might yet be day. I have followed the body of my Lord into the
city, and now I am lost. Lost. I laugh again, a
rusty laugh, like the blood upon my tunic. All are lost, and I am the least of those…….
If only I may find where they have taken my Lord, I might lie down
beside him. I should like to walk with him in the Halls of which
A voice. Like water running swift it is, like pipe-weed and bitter ale on a sweet summer night….like….
I pray that Master Took, The
Thain, is well pleased with my effort. Also, that he might never
again ask me to recall those days, nor what we all gained by that which
I should very much like for Estella to bring me some tea,
now. And my son. Please, I should like to see my
Samwise: Naming Day
Mr. Frodo sent me a letter once. Near in time my wedding Rosie it
was, yet close, too, upon the year he journeyed over the Sea. In
the post it came, though never a day there was I did not see him.
He sent me a letter. (Well, being Mr. Frodo, he sent many such,
but this one I kept special, and trace the meaning of it when Spring
I think he found plain joy in putting pen to paper, in seeing words
unwind before him, like grey smoke rising up a chimney flue.
Full of enquiries, this letter, full of the curiosity that marked him,
as much as anything else: which bulbs were I planning to start
come Spring, which barley might do well in that fallow field he held
hard by Deephallow.......... whether or no he truly could grow mushrooms down cellar.......
Full amused I was, visioning him at his desk, penning the note in all
haste, ne'er a thought passing through his head that we should see each
other upon the morrow.
So busy about my mirth I was that scarce I noted the words, dropped
accidental-like nigh to the very end of the parchment. An
afterthought, they seemed at first, lying so light between a request
for the arbour to be summer-sewn with blue-bells, and an enquiry on the
readiness of Gaffer's brew.
It were no accident, no after-thought, those words, standing plain as if they were alone upon the page:
Please, Sam. Forgive him.
Fear and something I could not name, could not even find reason for, ran through me.
With all my heart, I thought I had, but the Master saw that which I did
not, felt it tearing away at me, tearing, as sure as the creature had
torn living flesh from him.
More quiet even than usual he was, when I chanced upon him in his study
late next afternoon. I minded what day had recent passed, and
were glad he seemed not the worse for it. Not worse, yet seemingly no
better. Wandering, he was, and did not turn, even, when I spoke
"Frodo." This time without the title, and his head came about, focused upon where he was.
I made to give him the rough scrap of paper I held. Good enough for him, I thought, good enough.......
"Might I..........might I have one of your parchments, sir?" (knowing
full well these same parchments were made special for the Master,
coming all the way from the Last Homely House itself, and were meant
for use in Mr. Bilbo's book.
Wordlessly, he handed over the sheaf, pointed me to the pot of midnight
ink and his best quill, silently stepped through and closed the study
And now, all these many years later, I sit, still, in the chair that
was his, sit for the last time and read aloud, to naught but the
darkness, the words I penned on that day of Spring, so very long ago:
That Was My Name
None may remember him now,
none save me and you.
He, and his name that turned from one thing
Do you think, Master,
that he knew Spring,
and cared for the little rivers,
or took joy when the Sun warmed
a rain-washed earth?
Do you think he ever courted a lass,
or drew a deep draught of fine ale,
or danced 'round the fire on Summer-eve Night?
Did he e'er sit quiet 'neath the stars and think of naught,
or smoke sweet leaf under a harvest moon?
Did he e'er laugh at lac'd white, whirling soft upon the air,
lie warm abed in Winter?
Five hundred years and more.
Five hundred years to learn hate and fear,
and what it means to hunt and be hunted..
Five hundred years to forget he ever had a name.
Master, you know me. None better.
You know what words I keep within my silence,
just as well as you know those I speak outright.
I am glad
he is gone, Master.
I found a thing, forgotten and lost among dust-scrolled
a hasty recollection of a child's birth,
a name faded against crumbled leaf.
That was your name.
I knew you, Trahald.
Haply you have found peace.
More certain, you have found my forgiveness.
With all my heart, this time, Trahald, my forgiveness.
*Trahald was Smeagol's name in the language of his own people, the
early Stoors. It means "burrowing". "Smeagol" is an
anglicized version of the name. It comes from the Olde English
root-word smygel, which is also the basis for the word "smial".
AN: they have, at last, all departed away, and naught
remains save the burnished echo of their voices, calling us through the
doorways of time.
The Quest: it is ours now, and this Fellowship, bound by love.