Fading Hope

by Eruvanne

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Part 13

February 6, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

The longer we tarry here, the more I wish to stay. The very air seems to draw me in, to invite me to stay. But I have heard rumors that we are to leave shortly. However, I shall tell of what has happened today as it has brought me great amusement.

I spent this afternoon with Sam learning about all the songs and stories that he learned from Bilbo Baggins, Frodo’s uncle or some other relation. The time just seemed to fly by while we talked and sang. Soon, it was time for dinner and the fellowship dined with a company of elves.

After dinner, Boromir, Legolas, Rohirrwyn, some of the elves, and I walked out into an open field where several targets had been hung from the bows of the trees. Haldir turned to Legolas saying,

“It has been long since my brothers and I tested our skills with a bow. We would like nothing better then to test our skill with one of our northern kindred, if it be agreeable to you.”

Legolas’s eyes grew bright with the prospect. “I accept your challenge, Haldir of Lorien.” So the challengers took twenty steps away from the targets and fitted their bows. The spectators, including myself, stood away to the edges of the field away from the contestants.

Haldir shot first and hit the mark dead center. An elf removed his arrow and marked the spot where it had hit. Legolas then readied himself for his shot. Slowly, he fitted an arrow to the string as if he were nervous. However, I could tell by his eyes that he was quite confident in his ability to beat the archer of the Galadrim. When he had fitted the arrow and taken careful aim, he shot the arrow as quick as lightning. From where I stood, it looked as if both the arrows had hit the exact same spot. The other elf came and examined the two shots. After a few minutes, he declared the winner, Haldir of Lorien.

The gleam in Legolas’s eyes was gone after the verdict was called. But he gallantly rallied his spirits and congratulated his southern cousin. “Congratulations, Haldir. You shot well, better than I. You have indeed proved the superiority of the Lorien bow over the Mirkwood one.”

During the entire match, I had watched Rohirrwyn handling her knife. I suppose Haldir had too because after the woodland prince’s congratulatory remarks, Haldir turned to Rohirrwyn and asked, “Would you wish to say something, my lady?”

I turned to see a blush creep along her cheeks. I could tell by her eyes that she had thought that no one had noticed her antics. “Oh, no, it’s nothing,” she replied. “It’s just; I have some skill with a knife. If it isn’t too much trouble, may I be permitted to attempt a throw or two?”

With a look of doubt, Haldir said, “Of course my lady, if that is your desire.”

Having a gleam of both mischief and happiness in her eyes as she measured back several paces, she replied, “Thank you. I’m not a very good aim, mind you, but I do have a little bit of skill in this line. I’ve never been one for archery, though. We Rohirrim prefer our sturdy spears of ash to bows and arrows. But I will do my best.”

I just had to shake my head and smile. I knew, as well as Boromir, that Rohirrwyn had deadly aim with her golden knife. I was surprised that she had it for I thought that she had lost at the gates of Moria. When she looked back at us, we both winked to her. She nodded back and took careful aim. With a quick flick of her hand, the knife flew straight to the center of the target with a resounding thud. The elf who had judged the shooting match between Haldir and Legolas checked Rohirrwyn’s shot.

“It’s dead center,” he concluded. I looked over to Rohirrwyn to see how she was. Relief and pride were written across her face. My gaze then focused on Haldir to see his reaction. Although his face did not change, his eyes held astonishment.

“My lady, it appears that you do indeed have some skill with a knife. I challenge you and your knife to a contest. Best out of three shots wins, if you are agreed.”

“I am.” With a confident head toss, she continued. “For the honor and glory of the Rohirrim, and the race of men, I will take your challenge, Haldir of the elves.” I groaned once she finished speaking. Why did she always have to be so bold? I sometimes could not understand my friend. However, the deed was done.

Haldir smiled and with a twinkle in his eye said, “Very well. Malnár, would you set up the targets?” So the challenge began. In the first match, Rohirrwyn won. In the second, Haldir shot better. During the match, I had been biting my lip hoping that my rapid heartbeat could not be heard by anyone else. Finally the last round came. These last shots would determine the winner of the challenge. In my nervousness, I stared at both of the contestants. Haldir was poised, controlled, and his eyes held confidence. Rohirrwyn looked calm but her eyes showed me that she was wavering some in her resolution. Haldir shot and hit the center. Malnár took out the arrow and placed a marker for it. Then Rohirrwyn threw her knife. Standing before the target, Malnár studied the two shots for what seemed to me to be eternity. At last, he came towards us to announce the winner.

“The two were very close, and it was extremely difficult to tell. After much deliberation, however, I determined that the Lady Rohirrwyn was closer but just barely. Therefore I pronounce her the winner of this contest.” Relief warmed my body and quieted my pounding heart. Rohirrwyn, in her normal fashion, looked like she ruler of all. Haldir, on the other hand, looked stunned at having been beaten not only by a mortal but also by a woman. However, he gave his congratulations though his eyes held embarrassment and pain. I suppose Rohirrwyn saw this too for she told him that he shot very well that he did his country honor. We all then disbanded for the night.

Legolas, Boromir, and Rohirrwyn walked at the head of the group. I followed making up the rear. Since the contest was over, I felt easier and began to review the songs I had learned with Sam. All the lovely melodies flowed inside my head yet the one that stood out was the first I had learned from the hobbit minstrel, the story of Gil-galad. At first, I simply hummed the melody but then I began to sing the song. As I sang, I heard the others ahead stop talking. I finished the song as we arrived back at our pavilions. When we walked in, Rohirrwyn squeezed my hand to help comfort me. I’m writing now as I hum and listen to Rohirrwyn’s gentle breathing. The stars begin to dare to show their light and the moon shines brightly from her place amongst them. I can understand how the elves are lovers of nature if this is what they see each night. But I must lie down and sleep.
Until later,

February 16, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

Today we left the wonderful wood of Lothlorien behind. My heart grieves at the remembrance. This elven country has almost seemed like home to me this past month. But the parting was inevitable. We started out in four boats along the Anduin River. The first carried Aragorn with Frodo and Sam. The second held Boromir and Merry and Pippin. In the third boat, Rohirrwyn and I rode with half the baggage. Finally, Legolas and Gimli had the last boat with the other half of the baggage.

As we flowed past the elven realm, I gazed back with the pain of parting in my breast. However, I returned back to the task at hand, guiding the boat. While we were paddling, I looked at my fellow members of the fellowship. At the front, Aragorn guided the boat proficiently and Frodo seemed thoughtful but Sam looked quite uneasy with his white knuckles clasping the edges of the boat. Boromir was having a hard time trying to keep Merry and Pippin from rocking the boat while rowing. In our own boat, Rohirrwyn seemed to be a little unsure of how to paddle the boat but soon caught on. Quickly, I looked back to see Legolas and Gimli getting along fine though Gimli was having a hard time trying not to shift one way or another.

We came to a bend in the river and saw a white boat in the shape of a swan in which rode the Lord and Lady of the Galadrim. The sun reflected against the sides of the boat like glass and the beak glinted like gold. Then Galadriel spoke.

“We have come to bid you our last farewell,” said the Lady. “Come, and join us in a parting feast.” After that, we all turned our boats to the nearest shore and moored there. We all then enjoyed a last meal amongst the elves. The Lord Celeborn rose after the meal spoke to us of the dangers that lay ahead of us. He spoke of the different paths that the fellowship should take should we separate. After that, Galadriel stood saying, “Before you depart, I have brought gifts which the Lord and Lady of the Galadrim offer to you in memory of our land.”

She then presented Aragorn with a sheath for his sword Anduril and a broach shaped like an eagle with emerald eyes. To Merry and Pippin, silver belts were given. Legolas received a bow made by the elves of the Galadrim and arrows as well. She gave Sam a coil of elven rope and a small wooden box. To my cousin, she gave a golden belt with a golden flower as a clasp. Rohirrwyn was given a small golden sheath in which was laid a green gem. When she came to me, she held my eyes as she handed me my gift. Inside my head I heard her say, “May this ever remind you of our final meeting. Be brave and do not fear the future.” She then passed on and I looked at what she had given me. It was a silver swan with golden eyes on a chain of silver. To Frodo, Galadriel gave a phial that held the light of a star. At last she came to Gimli.

“What gift would a dwarf ask of the elves?” she inquired.

“Nothing, my lady,” he replied gazing at the ground. But as he continued he lifted his face to meet hers. “It is enough for me to have looked upon the Lady of the Golden Wood, and to have heard her voice.”

“Yet I would not have you be the only guest without a gift. Name whatever you desire, and it shall be given to you.”

A flush of crimson ran along his cheekbone but he said, “There is one thing I would desire.” As he whispered his request, a smile broke upon Galadriel’s lips. She then plucked three of her golden hairs from her head and handed them to the dwarf. Soon after, we resumed our seats in our boats and paddled away from the blessed realm. As we rode the current downstream, the Lady of the Galadrim began to sing. I was unable to hear what she sang but the melody was melancholy yet hopeful. Our boats soon left all traces of Lothlorien behind. With the parting, I left a small portion of my heart as well. We have camped here on a bank several miles downstream.

Until later,


Part 14.

February 17, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

We have been on the Anduin one day. As we were sailing, Rohirrwyn and I had a most interesting conversation. After about an hour, she spoke.

“Gilrael, do ever miss Gondor? Do you ever wish you had never started upon this quest; that you had stayed at home in peace?"

I had not expected such a question. All my doubts about my abilities to serve the company flooded my mind. A sigh escaped my lips as I answered. “I do, Rohirrwyn. I wish every day that I had stayed behind, in the White City, with my people. I see it even now, the sunlight glinting off its high towers; I hear Faramir calling me for supper; I feel the warmth of the sun on my cheeks. I miss my city. I feel every day the sense of my own inadequacy. I think that I never should have come, that I can do nothing to help, but only hinder. But, I made a commitment, to protect and aid the Ring-bearer, and as long as I draw breath, I shall not, I will not, break that vow.”

“I know exactly what you mean. I don’t know why I’m here, or why any of this happened. But I do know everything happens for a purpose. Everyone was created to do something, to fulfill some place. Nothing happens by chance. We were meant to come with the Fellowship, and when it is time, we will go home.” I smiled and the conversation ended.

As we paddled, I could tell that for some reason Rohirrwyn had less energy in her strokes, that often her hands would become idle. All these are trifles but I have found that these trifles are what tell the most about a person. I could tell that she had become dispirited. However, I did not ask why she had become so disheartened because I know that she is of the disposition to not show any weakness. Just like Boromir.

When we landed this evening, Boromir sat beside me and said, “Well, my dear cousin, how are you doing on the river?”

“I’ve doing fairly well, thank you,” I replied. “I was wondering how you were doing seeing as you have the two more rambunctious hobbits in your boat.”

He smiled broadly and answered, “They make very good company. Though several times, we have had the fear of capsizing.” We both laughed as we thought of Merry and Pippin.

“Boromir,” I asked suddenly solemn, “I’ve been meaning to ask this but, well,” I stammered towards the end not knowing how to present my request.

“Well, what, Gilrael?” he coaxed.

“Will you teach me how to fight?” I blurted. His eyes became almost the size of saucers. I had not anticipated that kind of reaction so I continued speaking to try to ease his fears. “I only ask in order that I might better serve the company if we run into any more trouble as we did in Moria.”

“Wouldn’t Faramir and your brothers be surprised to hear you now,” Boromir sighed. But he agreed to teach me some skills used in battle. So I have learned a few of the arts of war. Who knows what other surprises lie in store. Until later,

February 19, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

Another day passes upon the river. This time Rohirrwyn and I were at the end of the line of boats. As we were rowing, Rohirrwyn leaned back to me and whispered an idea that would break the monotony that was growing upon us. Digging our paddles deeper in the water, we propelled the boat rapidly forward and continued on downstream. First we passed Legolas and Gimli. The expressions on their faces was priceless, Legolas’ full of wonder and surprise and Gimli’s first with astonishment and then with a kind of competitive anger. Next we came to Boromir, Merry, and Pippin. The young Took stood so as to see us better for he had heard Legolas and Gimli shouting from behind.

“Sit down, Pip,” Merry commanded. “You’re rocking the boat.” With a quick pull, Merry had Pippin back on the floor of the boat though the delicate vessel continued to rock. For some odd reason, Rohirrwyn decided to flick some water at the members of that ship and ended up hitting Boromir full in the face. I gasped. For a minute, Boromir was wiping away the water from his face. Then, mockingly, he stared angrily at Rohirrwyn with his hand on the hilt of his sword. She smiled. Giving up, my cousin shook his head and saluted me as we sailed past.

Soon we arrived at the front of the column with the boat that carried Aragorn, Frodo, and Sam. The ranger turned to see us coming up along side him. He gazed at us questioningly. “Gilrael, Rohirrwyn, what on earth are you doing?”

Typical of Rohirrwyn, she replied, “Oh, we got rather bored of always being at the back, so we decided to sail up here and see how things were going.” He looked as if he would reply but then a twinkle sparkled in his eye. That made both Rohirrwyn and I turn round just in time to be doused with water.

Once I had cleared my wet hair away from my eyes, I saw the two boats we had passed coming quickly towards us with their passengers in wild fits of laughter. I turned to see Rohirrwyn glaring at our fellow travelers and then burst into laughter herself. I soon joined in as did Aragorn and Frodo. Sam alone did not enjoy the moment for he held tightly to the railing of the elven boat without diverting his gaze from the river ahead.

We continued on into the night for a while and when it became too dark to see anything ahead, we beached the boats. Rohirrwyn and I prepared dinner for our fellowship and afterwards Boromir and I had our nightly sword-fighting lessons. And now I am on watch duty. But I must finish now as I hear Rohirrwyn coming to relieve me. Until later,

February 21, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

The sun rises for the fourth time as we sail down the Anduin. The water sparkles as the evening rays are reflected. The moon and stars add a silver hue to the reds and pinks on the water’s surface. The evening is lovely but is marred by my doubts.

As I sit here on the bank of the Anduin, I stare at the eastern bank. In my heart, I feel that trouble roams upon its shores. I turn my gaze away to my companions. Merry and Pippin are the first to take my attention. Their laughter and high spirits keep the company’s morale buoyant. It is a comfort to know that some are yet joyful in these dark times. Nearby are Frodo and Sam with Sam persisting that Frodo must eat something. That humble hobbit is a faithful companion to the Ring-bearer. As for Frodo himself, he seems weary but does not sleep. In his eyes, I have a seen a constant thoughtfulness and I believe he is beginning to fully realize what it is that he has promised to do.

My eyes continue around the fire and fall on Legolas and Gimli. They seem to be the most unlikely of friends. I remember at the formation of the fellowship the enmity between the two. Now they are close friends, almost inseparable.

Next to them is Aragorn, our leader. He sits close to the fire with a furrowed brow. His slumped shoulders and bowed head express the weight of the burden that he carries. He seems unsure of whether or not he should go with Boromir to Minas Tirith or with Frodo to Mordor. I’m sure his sense of duty is torn between the two as he has given promises to both.

The last in the circle is Rohirrwyn. Sharpening her small knife, she looks at the blade to see its pointed edge and then looks beyond to the edge of the river. Recently, she has seemed to become more and more pensive. As we near Rohan, her eyes seem to wander to her birthplace, seeing the rolling planes and wild horses.
At last, I gaze outside the ring to the fallen log where Boromir sits on watch. His straight form is silhouetted against the fading light. Over the last few days, I have noticed a change in him. He has become more moody and doesn’t speak very often. Sometimes, I catch him glancing over at Frodo. Something is growing in his mind. But night drawing on quickly and I must get some rest before my watch. Until later,

February 22, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

Five days now we have been upon the river. As I prepared my space for the evening, I overheard a conversation between Frodo and Sam.

“Have some food, Mr. Frodo."

“No, Sam."

“You haven’t eaten anything all day. You’re not sleeping, either. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Mr. Frodo . . .”

“I’m all right.”

“But you’re not! I’m 'ere to 'elp you. I promised Gandalf that I would.”

“You can’t help me, Sam. . . Not this time. . . Get some sleep.” And reluctantly Sam went to lie down. As I lay listening to them, I reminisced back to when we had all started upon this journey. We didn’t know what lay ahead, only what needed to be done. Never did we realize what sacrifices would be paid to achieve our goal. At least, I did not dream that all that has happened to our fellowship would happen. We are on the verge of some precipice that the Lady Galadriel could foresee; I can feel it. I must rest now.

February 24, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

We continue our journey down river. The sun shines yet I feel no warmth. The wind blows yet does not cool. I feel that something awful is going to happen to us, which I confided in Rohirrwyn this afternoon. “Rohirrwyn, I’m afraid. With each stroke, we come closer to evil and bloodshed. Soon, I know we’ll be forced to fight. But I fear for myself. I have no real skill in battle, you know that. Could I be a danger to the company by my inability?”

Rohirrwyn looked pensive for a bit and then answered. “No, Gilrael, you will not endanger us. Rather, your healing skills will be, and have already been, invaluable to us. You need not fear.” I was about to answer when she held up a hand. “Gilrael, I promise you this. As far as breathe within me lies, I will protect you. The Black Sword will keep you safe, no matter what happens to me. I will look after you, Gilrael, I promise.”

“Thank you, Rohirrwyn,” I quietly said and smiled. We have camped now and soon I’ll be having my sword lessons. But I must first confide something to you. Over the past couple of days, especially after yesterday, Boromir has become less responsive. I don’t know if that’s the right word but he has not seemed himself of late. He keeps stealing glances at Frodo and looking menacingly at Aragorn. I don’t know quite what to make of it. Well, Boromir is coming for me.
Until later,


February 26, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

Hope has died in my heart this day. Death teases me by its blow. Almost all that I have held dear has been stripped from me. This is what occurred.

As the reds, pinks, and purples of the sunrise began to fade in the morning sunlight, we arrived at a place called Amon Hen, just before the Falls of Rauros. Everyone, except Sam who began to prepare breakfast, sat down to discuss what we would do next. Aragorn was the first to speak.

“The best route would be for Legolas and me to take Frodo and Sam east, and send the rest with Boromir to the White City.”

Merry sprang to his feet in indignation. “But we won’t leave Frodo.”

“We hobbits have got to stick together, no matter what,” Pippin added, standing firmly beside his friend.

“I, for one, am not going to be left behind to let an elf have all the glory,” stated Gimli resolutely.

I looked around the group. Could this disunited group really be the same company I left Rivendell with? I knew that whichever road we took, I would accompany Boromir back to Minas Tirith. However, it looked as if our group would separate whatever the course chosen. I took the awkward silence to look at each of my companions’ faces. Merry and Pippin both looked eager to follow their friend to the bitter end and yet feared if they would really be ready for the challenges. Gimli seemed determined not to be outdone by an elf even if it meant to journey to the land of the Dark Lord. Legolas appeared to be apprehensive of some coming evil or doom. I myself could feel his same apprehension. Aragorn’s brow was knit in deep concentration. In my mind, I could again see a weight upon his shoulders, ever since Mithrandir fell in Moria. I then looked to Rohirrwyn and saw her worries. She fears for our company’s commitment to our original cause instead of each of us breaking away to our own missions. At last, my eyes rested on my dear cousin. His grey eyes were closed in focused concentration. He seemed to be battling some kind of inner turmoil. My thoughts were broken by Sam calling for breakfast.

We all gathered around the fire to eat our meal in yet another silence. As we ate I watched Boromir as he ate beside me. He seemed to still be thinking about something. I placed my hand on his arm. Quickly opening his eyes, he turned towards me with a scowl on his face. But it soon melted into a smile as he realized that it was I who had touched.

“Are you all right, Boromir,” I asked concernedly.

“Yes, Gilrael. Quite all right.” He then stood as if to leave.

“Where are you going?”

“I, uh, need to gather more wood for our fire. I’ll be back for lunch.” Boromir knelt down again and placed his hand against my cheek. “Everything will be ok.” With that, he left.

After a few minutes, Sam remarked, “Where’s Master Frodo gone off to?” For the first time, I realized that Frodo had not been with us when we had eaten breakfast. We all looked about frantically. Then Aragorn called for Rohirrwyn to come and speak with him alone. I then remembered Boromir’s strange exit from the breakfast circle. The thought then struck me that he had gone in search of Frodo to ask him for the Ring so as to save Gondor. As quickly as I could, I girded myself with my sword and raced down the path that Boromir had taken. Behind me, I could hear the hobbits calling out Frodo’s name and Legolas and Gimli trying desperately to stop them. However, I ignored them. For me, only one thing mattered, that I find Boromir and stop him from taking the Ring from Frodo. A chill ran through me that I might be too late.

Before I ever found Boromir, I encountered orcs coming into the forest. Frantically, I remembered the different lessons my cousin had given me in sword-play. Then the fray was on. After several minutes, I saw out of the corner of my eye that Rohirrwyn, Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn had joined me in the fight. As I saw an orc lunge at Rohirrwyn, I reached him before he could inflict a wound on my dear friend. She smiled with what looked like wonder in her eyes and continued fighting as did I.

Unexpectedly, a horn call blared through the forest. I immediately started running when I realized that the horn was Boromir’s. He never blew that horn except when his need was dire or when he was entering the city after a victory. And he was nowhere near the White City today. So my legs carried me as quickly as I could to where the call had come from.

Finally, I burst into a clearing where my poor cousin lay against a tree covered in black arrows and surrounded by dead orcs. It seemed as if time came to a halt. But soon I was at his side, weeping because I could see that no amount of healing could bring him back. A sorry sight was Boromir. His breath was ragged. Blood covered his chest. His eyes were beginning to lose their fire.

Rohirrwyn and Aragorn were kneeling beside our fallen comrade. Rohirrwyn’s eyes were glazed over with shock or horror. Her hands moved to the arrows to try to pull them out. However, Boromir restrained her as best he could.

“Rohirrwyn, there is nothing you can do,” he gasped. He closed his eyes as if in extreme pain and trying to keep from crying out. Regaining his strength, he spoke again, this time to Aragorn. “They took the little ones. I tried to stop them, but I could not.” I could not hold back my tears. To see Boromir, the strong, confident Captain of Gondor, reduced to such a state. It was too much for me to bear. Rohirrwyn held Boromir’s hand close to heart as if by her heart, Boromir’s would repair. Turning to Aragorn again, the dying man asked, “Frodo, where is Frodo?”

Speaking softly, Aragorn answered, “I let him go.”

Boromir’s face contorted in anguish as he heard the news. “Then you did what I could not. I tried to take the Ring from him.” My earlier beliefs were then true. Boromir had left breakfast to try to find Frodo and take the Ring from him. I knew that I should have spoken to him and deterred him from his purpose. But it is too late now. Aragorn continued speaking to Boromir.

“The Ring is beyond our reach now.”

“Forgive me. I did not see it. I have failed you all.” Boromir sighed in disgrace. My tears fell on my cousin’s heaving breast, washing away the blood. Rohirrwyn kneeled beside her beloved with dry eyes and probably a breaking heart, holding on to Boromir’s hand. Aragorn was kneeling as well and looked compassionately upon his fellow man-at-arms. Again he spoke to Boromir.

“No, Boromir, you fought bravely. You have kept you honor.” Our leader’s eyes shone down kindness on my suffering cousin. For a moment, I thought I saw a familiar sign of pride at a compliment in Boromir’s eyes and around his mouth. But it was gone in another instant when he again felt the pain of his wounds and the pain of his heart. Rohirrwyn reached out to try again to remove the arrows.

“Leave it!” he commanded in gasps. “It is over. The world of men will fall. And all will come to darkness, and my city to ruin.” These last words were terrible to hear, even worse that Boromir should say them. It broke my heart again into pieces as my tears never ceased to flow down my cheeks.

Aragorn reached down and held Boromir’s other hand and said, “I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail.” The resolution in his voice and determination in his eyes must have registered to Boromir his sincerity for my cousin’s eyes brightened for a moment at the hearing of the endurance of Gondor.

“Our people?” he asked. “Our people.” A smile spread gently across his face and he looked over to where his sword had fallen and stretched out his hand to grab it. Rohirrwyn placed it in his hand. He then whispered something to her but she shook her head and replied. Boromir answered her and then barely kissed her hand as his strength was failing.

Then he placed his hand on my forehead. “You must be strong, Gilrael,” he murmured. “Rohirrwyn will need you for comfort even if it doesn’t seem like it. And tell Faramir that I believe in him. Good-bye, my little one.” In his eyes, it seemed as if I read deep into his soul and saw a kind of trust that I had never seen before, except for between him and Faramir. With this, my weeping grew less violent.

Finally, he turned his eyes upon Aragorn. In the dying man’s eyes, I distinguished admiration, devotion, and love. “I would have followed you, my brother. My captain, my king.” Boromir then turned again to Rohirrwyn and was gone. The wells of my soul burst forth in tears. My cousin, my Boromir, my brother was gone forever. Death had claimed yet another member of my beloved family.

Aragorn placed a solemn kiss upon Boromir’s brow and murmured, “Be at peace, son of Gondor.” Reverentially, he placed my cousin’s sword upon Boromir’s breast. As if out of nowhere, Legolas and Gimli appeared and stood in deferential silence for their comrade. Before the men took away the body, Rohirrwyn removed Boromir’s ring and placed on her finger. She turned to me and held me as sobs shook me. “They will look for his coming from the White Tower, but he will not return,” stated Rohirrwyn and then she began to tenderly sing a lament for her beloved departed.

“An old man sat in his tower
And looked out across the plain.
Counting each day, and each hour
‘Till he’d see his son again.

Far away the silver horn cries,
A cry for help, for aid he seeks.
Orcs only hear, and the captain dies.
A single tear rolls down my cheek.

The steward still sits in his tower,
But looks no more across the plain.
Instead he counts the days and hours,
‘Till death gives him his son again.”

We all then fell into silence as the boat that carried my dear cousin passed over the falls of Rauros. Legolas then asked Aragorn if we would follow Sam and Frodo. Aragorn disagreed and said that we would leave the Ring-bearer and his companion to their fates while we should pursue the orcs that carried Merry and Pippin away. “We travel light. Leave all that can be spared behind. Let’s hunt some orc!” called Aragorn. I had sat down upon a stone as my eyes dried up and I tried to be strong as Boromir told me to. Rohirrwyn then helped me to my feet and we pooled our possessions together and started running after our companions. We soon will be starting our second day of pursuit. Until later,

February 28, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

Our pursuit of the hobbits continues to another day. Although we are weary, our companions are worth our efforts.

This morning, Aragorn had to shake me violently to wake me from my slumber. Still sleepy eyed, I packed Rohirrwyn and my pack. However, I noticed that Rohirrwyn’s blanket had not been used during the night. That pushed all sleepiness out of me. I looked around for Rohirrwyn and saw her a little ways off. She was bent over with her head in her hands. My heart felt for her because I believe that she takes Boromir’s death upon herself. It pains me to see one like my sister grieved so.

We ran many miles today for Aragorn fears that we will lose the orcs’ trail if we do not keep our speed. However, the pace of the captors as quickened because they caught our scent. My legs ache from all our running and my chest feels as if it’s about to burst. Thankfully, Rohirrwyn is always there to help me if she sees that I’m lagging far behind.

But she is changed since we last left Henneth Anun. Her eyes that were once bright and fiery are now but smoldering embers. Her shoulders once pulled back and head held high now stoop and lay low. I believe that the only reason she does not die is for my sake. Boromir probably told her to look after me and her duty will carry her through everything.

Finally, around sunset, we stopped for the night. I got our meager meal and served it to my comrades. Gimli took his quickly and it was nearly gone when I left him. Legolas received his in his own dignified manner, gazing at the stars as he ate. Aragorn, however, would not take any. He said that he could not eat with so much on his mind. At last, I came to Rohirrwyn.

“Please, Rohirrwyn, take this. You’ll need it to keep up your strength.” She simply shook her head and continued writing in small book. I cold tell she wanted to be alone so I went to sit by Aragorn while I ate.

“Aragorn,” I whispered, “is there anything we can do for Rohirrwyn?”

“Nothing that mere men can do,” answered Aragorn. “A broken heart and spirit can only be mended with time.”

“But what about now? I can’t sit by and let her suffer like this,” I protested.

“Just be there for her, Gilrael, as you always have. If she needs you, you’ll be there.” And we sat in silence until I finished eating and it was time for sleep.

I walked over to where my friend still sat and wrote. “Rohirrwyn, it’s time to sleep. Won’t you lie down for a little while?” She shook her head no. “Will you at least tell me what’s wrong then?” No again but this time she winced as she replied. I realized that I had found the sore spot in her heart. So I let the matter rest and lay down. As I lay here, I can hear Rohirrwyn lay down beside me and softly weep. O my dear friend, how I yearn to hold you close and say that everything will be all right. But I cannot. I can only be waiting for you to come to me. I’ll always be waiting.