Fading Hope

by Eruvanne

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Part 5

October 25, 3018 Third Age of Middle Earth

I have arrived in Rivendell. It is evening now and almost time for dinner. I’ll recount the events of the day for you.

I came into Rivendell, also called Imladris as Boromir tells me, mid-morning. As I entered, I was met by an elf who bowed and said, “Welcome, traveler. Please come with me.”

He obviously knew where the people were so I followed him. Suddenly, darkness fell and the earth trembled. It was all I could do to keep my horse, Thorongil, calm. However, it passed quickly and we resumed our journey. Soon after, I began to see a clearing and I heard a voice say, “Then what do you propose that we do?” As I emerged from the path I saw many people in a semicircle with one man at the other end of the circle. To my great wonder, there were many different people in that circle. There was a rather small person, not a dwarf mind you but something smaller and with no beard, in the chair closest to me. Next to him was Mithrandir, then four elves, several dwarves, and then I saw, to my astonishment, that Rohirrwyn was also in the circle with Boromir beside her. The last person in the circle was a man I didn’t recognize. At the head of the circle was another elf who I later learned was the Lord Elrond who governs the city of Rivendell. Everyone had turned silently toward us as we entered. At that moment, I felt like creeping back along the path as if I hadn’t been there at all.

But before I could do so Boromir stood up and said, “My Lord Elrond, this is my cousin, Gilrael. Would it be acceptable if she enters into council? I know that she will not betray us.”

“If she can be trusted, then she may be allowed to stay,” replied Elrond solemnly. So the elf who had led me to the Council took my horse and I was led to a seat between Boromir and the man I didn’t know. Then the discussion proceeded.

Mithrandir began speaking first. “The Ring is altogether evil.”

“It is a gift,” contradicted Boromir as he rose and began to pace the floor. “A gift to the foes of Mordor. Why not use this Ring? Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe.” To this, I mentally concurred knowing from working on the battlefield in Osgiliath. Boromir continued, “Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him.”

“You cannot wield it. None of us can,” said the stranger. “The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master.”

“And what,” retorted Boromir, “would a ranger know of this matter?”

From the other side of the semicircle, an elf with long golden hair stood up and said, “This is no ordinary ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.”

“Aragorn,” said Boromir almost questioningly and in disbelief.

“This is Isildur’s heir?” wondered Rohirrwyn aloud.

“And heir to the throne of Gondor,” continued the elf. At that, my head immediately turned to look at the man beside me. Is this the man for whom we had been waiting for so long? Aragorn then told the elf, called Legolas, to sit down in elvish. As he went to go sit down, Boromir muttered, “Gondor has no king. Gondor needs no king.” It somewhat stunned me to hear him say that as I had thought everyone in Gondor hoped to see the return of the king. Then the discussion preceded the destruction of the object of which Aragorn had said only the Dark Lord could wield. This object was a single band of gold, a ring. But I later learned that it was a very powerful ring which contained the power to dominate all life and also held the life of the Dark Lord.

Mithrandir began, “Aragorn is right. We cannot use it.”

Then I heard Rohirrwyn start to speak. “Are you sure that none can wield it? Isildur could not you say, but are there no others, among men perhaps if elves fear to use this thing?” We all stared at her. How could she dare to contradict one as wise as Mithrandir? From her face, I could tell that she had thought that she was the only one who could hear her comments. So she continued. “What of this Aragorn, son of Arathorn? As heir to the throne, does he not have the power to use this thing? Or what of Elrond, or Gandalf, or one of the other elves? Is there no strength left in elves? Must you also take away from men what strength we may have?”

“No, Rohirrwyn. We have only one choice. The Ring must be destroyed,” said Mithrandir.

“Then what are we waiting for?” questioned someone. Then one dwarf went to destroy it immediately by hitting it with his axe. However, when he hit the ring there came suddenly a blast which hit everyone. When I looked up, I saw the small person holding his head as if it had affected his mind.

“It cannot be destroyed, Gimli son of Gloin, by any craft we here possess,” said Lord Elrond. “The Ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be un-made. It must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came. One of you must do this.”

“One does not simply walk into Mordor,” quietly contradicted my cousin. “Its black gates are guarded by more than just orcs. There is an evil there that does not sleep. And always the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly.”

Legolas rose again. “Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed.”

Gimli the dwarf then spoke saying, “And I suppose you think you are the one to do it.”

Rohirrwyn then joined the argument saying, “And if we fail, then what? What happens when the Dark Lord takes back what is his?”

“I will be dead,” continued Gimli, “before I see the Ring in the hands of an elf.” Then everyone except myself, the small person, the Lord Elrond, and Aragorn stood up and began arguing. I buried my face in my hands; not quite understanding what all was happening but upset at the same time that everyone was so unhappy with each other.
After a minute, I heard a voice that shouted, “I will take it!” I raised my eyes to see the small person standing up. He repeated, “I will take it!” and everyone grew quiet. “I will take the Ring to Mordor though I do not know the way.”

“I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear,” said Mithrandir as he walked to the small person called Frodo Baggins.

Aragorn then stood up and said, “Whether by my life or death I can protect you, I will.” He crossed to Frodo and kneeled. “You have my sword.”

“And my bow,” said Legolas.

“And my axe,” said Gimli. As both stood there, neither looked happy that both were in the party.

Boromir then stood and walked to Frodo. “You carry the fate of us all, little one. But if this is truly the will of the council, then Gondor will see it done.”

“And so will I,” said Rohirrwyn. Some of the others looked shocked at her actions but I wasn’t. She strode over to Boromir’s side. “It seems I was wrong about the Ring. The Black Sword is at your service, Frodo Baggins.”

Suddenly, a “Ha” was heard from the bushes behind the party and another small person came and stood next to Frodo. “Mr. Frodo's not goin’ anywhere without me.”

“Well it would seem impossible to separate you even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not,” replied Lord Elrond with a hint of a smile upon his lips.

Then from behind two pillars, two more small people appeared. One with sandy-blonde hair said, “Hey! We’re coming too. You’ll have to tie us up in a sack to send us back.”

Then the other small person with brown hair continued saying, “Besides, you’ll need people of intelligence on this mission . . . quest . . . thing.”

“Ten companions,” said Lord Elrond. “So be it. You shall be the fellowship of the Ring.”

Then the brown haired small person said, “Great. Where are we going?” It was strange to see such devotion and yet such ignorance from the same person. After the christening of the group, everyone was dispersed to do what they pleased. Oh no, the bell has rung for dinner. I must go. But I promise to continue tomorrow.


Part 6

October 26, 3018 Third Age of Middle Earth

Now where was I? Ah! After the dispersement of the Fellowship, I then talked with Boromir and Rohirrwyn. I did say hello to Mithrandir and he seemed pleased to see me. After that Boromir insisted that I learn the names of the others in the Fellowship. In the group were four Halflings or hobbits as they like to be called. They were the small people I had mentioned. The four were Frodo Baggins, the Ring-bearer, Samwise Gamgee, Frodo’s gardener and self-appointed bodyguard, Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrine Took. Then there was Legolas Greenleaf of the Woodland elves in the forest of Mirkwood where he is a prince. Then there’s Gimli the dwarf, Boromir, Aragorn, Mithrandir, and Rohirrwyn. And that concludes the Fellowship. I must admit to you that I was scared half to death when I was introduced to all the Fellowship. I’m not a very confident person and this meeting of these very important people who were to accompany the Ring-bearer as far as they chose made me feel reticent to make myself known to them. However, afterwards I felt much more at ease. That, my friend, is what took up most of yesterday. After I left the Fellowship, I followed an elf who led me to my room where I immediately began to write what had transpired. After dinner last night, I learned that Rohirrwyn is sharing a room with me! It will seem like days gone by when she and her cousins would visit Minas Tirith and the three girls, Rohirrwyn, her cousin Eowyn, and I, would all sleep in the same room. Oh, what memories were made then. But back to the present day. Today not much has yet happened. Well I need to go now. I think I hear my name being called. Until a later time.

October 29, 3018 Third Age of Middle Earth

Today I went to the main hall where everyone was gathered this evening. I don’t normally go there since I’m rather shy. But tonight Boromir insisted that I come out and meet other people.

“It’s not good for the niece of the Steward of Gondor to hide in rooms away from company. It reflects badly on all of us of Gondor,” he told me, smiling. I could tell he was teasing by the light in his eyes. So I smiled back at my proud cousin. He was always proud to show me off to his friends, showing how wonderful I was and knowing how much I was terrified of it. None of them were at all vicious but I am, as I said before, very shy. So we went down to the hall. It was so beautiful. The walls were of white stone with beautiful tapestries on the wall of the history of Middle Earth and candles were all over the place. It seemed that the hall was lit with a kind of unearthly light. Barely having time to examine these things, I taken over to where the Lord Elrond was. Out of a sense of respect, I bowed low. But then he lifted me and when I looked up into his face, I saw what might have been a smile playing around the edges of his lips. He then introduced him to a beautiful young woman next him as his daughter Arwen Udomiel. She is one of the most beautiful women I know. Her hair is of a raven black and skin the color of cream. She also has a very wonderful smile which makes her face seem to shine.

“I’m very pleased to meet you, Gilrael. I have heard a lot about you from your cousin and friend.” Her voice sounded like a bubbling brook. After that, Boromir introduced me two young men named Elladan and Elrohir who are the sons of Lord Elrond and brothers of Arwen. I bowed to them and they to me. When I rose and looked at my cousin, he was beaming with pride. I then took leave of him to find Rohirrwyn and talk to her since I hadn’t had any other time we were together. I finally found her talking with the hobbits, which is what I shall call them from now on. They seemed to be having a great amount of fun when I arrived since they were all laughing. But Rohirrwyn was happy to speak with me again. She told of what had happened to her since I had last seen her. It was so very tragic. She had been banished and never to return on pain of death. That was why she came to Gondor. I feel terrible for her since she has now been isolated from every one in her family. But we did not dwell on that long. We then turned the more interesting topic of the Fellowship of the Ring.

“Why don’t you come with us, Gilrael?” she asked. “You could be of a lot of help to us since you have the art of healing and I’m sure that we’ll need someone like that on a journey like this.”

I shook my head. “You know, Rohirrwyn, almost better than anyone why I don’t. I just can’t bring myself to go on something where I don’t know everything.”

“I know, I know,” she consented. “But couldn’t you just do it this once, for me. I mean, where am I going to be able to get any sensible advice except from you? You know how reckless Boromir and I can get. Someone has to keep us in line,” she teased.

“I think Mithrandir can do that for you,” I countered.

“Very well. But I will find a way for you to come,” she said shaking a finger at me. Then we moved over to where there was music being played. There were many people there including Boromir, the Lord Elrond, his sons and daughter, Aragorn, and Legolas. A song, which sounded beautiful from what I heard, was just ending as we entered. After the applause, Boromir looked down to see me next to him. He then came up with some kind of mischief in that head of his, I could tell by his eyes.

“My Lord Elrond, please allow my cousin to sing in your hall. She has a lovely voice and has sung in my father’s hall.”

“If she would like to, she may,” replied the Lord Elrond.

Turning to me, he asked, “You will won’t you, Gilrael?”

“If you would like me to, Boromir,” I answered.

“Of course.” As I began to move to the musicians, he whispered, “You know how I like to show you off.” I smiled meekly as I walked away. I then sang one of the songs of Gondor honoring the heroes of old. Afterwards, I came away stood next to Boromir on whom I laid my head. Feeling tired, I told him I was going to return to my room and rest. He nodded his consent and I went to bid good-night to the Lord Elrond. After them, I said goodnight to Rohirrwyn. I then came into the room and wrote down my thoughts into you. So now I shall bid you good-night and write in you in due time.


Part 7

October 30, 3018 Third Age of Middle Earth

You would never guess what happened today. I have joined the Fellowship of the Ring! This is how it happened.

After breakfast this morning, I was approached by Elrohir.

“My father has requested that you follow me,” he told me. So I followed him down a long hallway just as beautiful as the main hall. We then ascended a flight of stairs and entered into a room overlooking Rivendell. I saw there the Lord Elrond, Mithrandir, Aragorn, Elladan, Boromir, and Rohirrwyn. Rohirrwyn and Boromir were both looking at each other and smiling as if sharing in a secret pleasure. Out of respect, I bowed to the Lord Elrond and rose.

“Gilrael, daughter of Eldacar, it has been requested that you join the Fellowship which is to accompany the Ring-bearer. I have been told that you are gifted in the art of healing which would be necessary on such journey as this. You will not be forced to join or go further than you want with the Fellowship. Should you choose to go, your joining shall be witnessed by myself, Gandalf, Aragorn, my sons, your cousin, and your friend.” I was so stunned that I remained silent. I couldn’t believe what I had heard; me asked to join a group of some of the bravest of all the races of Middle Earth. I could feel the awkward silence so I answered.

“My Lord Elrond, if I am needed in this company I will be honored to join.”

“So be it,” said the Lord Elrond solemnly. “The Fellowship now is of eleven persons. Let all here be witnesses to the joining of Gilrael of Gondor, niece of the Steward.”

Then we were all dismissed. Rohirrwyn then came over to me and took my hand.

“I told you I would find a way to get you into the Fellowship.” I just had to laugh at her determination this time. She is very confident in everything she does, which is a complete opposite to me. I guess that is one reason why get along so well. So now I’m a member of the Fellowship that is to accompany the Ring-bearer. I have no idea what else may be in store for me. Until tomorrow.

October 31, 3018 Third Age of Middle Earth

Oh my! You would never think that more than one good thing could happen in one day but, oh, it has. Let me elaborate.

Last night, Boromir proposed to Rohirrwyn and she accepted! Oh my! My best friend to be my cousin, it seems almost too good to be true but it is true. I am so happy for them. I wish I could write more but I can’t at the moment because . . . I don’t know why. Maybe I should just rest for a little while. Until a later time.

Later the same day
This afternoon, Boromir, Aragorn, Elladan, and Elrohir left on the scouting mission. It was a bittersweet parting, knowing they were going away but also knowing about the engagement of Rohirrwyn and Boromir. I could see their love for one another in their eyes as they said good-bye to one another. It was truly wonderful see. I could see the same sort of thing between Aragorn and Arwen. Well now, it’s time for dinner and I must go but I promise to write more. Until then.


Part 8

November 17, 3018 Third Age of Middle Earth

Boromir, Aragorn, Elladan, and Elrohir have returned! I am so happy to see them well and safe again.

I first learned that they had returned earlier this afternoon. I was walking in the gardens along the waterfall when I heard voices behind me. I turned to see the Lord Elrond greeting his two sons. At first, I just watched and then went over to welcome Elladan and Elrohir, as best I could. Meaning that, how does a mortal welcome back one who is immortal? It just seemed very strange to me. I guess they could tell what I was feeling because they began to laugh.

“It is alright, Gilrael. You can welcome us as friends and not as any superior persons,” Elrohir said. So I joined in their laughter. I do believe that we shall be good friends.

It seems that their scouting was successful. From what they told me the party scouted all around the area to the south, since the Fellowship will go going that way, and found no enemies upon the way. It will be such a joy to not have to face any servants of the Dark Lord.

Then I left them in hopes that I would find my cousin. For a while, I just wondered around and then I decided to go into the hall where the tapestries of the history of Middle Earth.

As I entered, I heard two voices that I recognized as Rohirrwyn and Aragorn. Then, I heard an even more familiar voice. I walked in and saw Boromir. He turned and I ran right into his arms.

“Oh Boromir, I was so worried about you.” Boromir then stepped back with his eyes twinkling and said, “Well, I believe Rohirrwyn will want me to freshen up before dinner.” He nodded to Aragorn and then smiled at me.

After Boromir left, Aragorn offered his arm to me and asked, “May I escort you down to dinner, Gilrael?” Shyly, I took his arm and we walked down together. I felt awkward because I feel that he has a strong attachment to the Lady Arwen. Well I must rest now. Until tomorrow.

December 25, 3018 Third Age of Middle Earth

Today we have left Rivendell and set out upon our quest. It was very sad leaving that beautiful city with its loving people.

Before we left, Elrond blessed us and told us that we weren’t forced to continue our journey with the Ring-bearer if we didn’t want to. Then the Fellowship left in the following order: Frodo, Mithrandir, Merry (Meriadoc), Pippin (Peregrine), Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Rohirrwyn, myself, and Aragorn.

We were all quiet as we left. No one seemed to know what to say. We were all on our way to accompany a person who held the fate of Middle Earth in his small hands.

It seems that only yesterday I was saying good-bye to Boromir as he left for Minas Tirith to journey on to Rivendell. But the months have flown by without my noticing them. Well, we have camped for the night which is why I have time to write. I promise to write more as soon as I can. Until then.

January 1, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

It is now the first of the New Year. Normally at Minas Tirith, we would have a grand celebration where everyone in the city was invited. There would be singing and dancing and all sorts of merry-making.

But this year is much different. We walked all day and it seemed liked any other day. Times are beginning to change, I think. I feel as if this year will be last of those that we have always known.

Boromir did try to help make the day special for me. As we were walking, he dropped from his place next to Rohirrwyn to come stand next to me. He then placed his arm around me and pulled me close in an embrace.

“It won’t be like this every year, Gilrael,” he said soothingly. “Things will change. Happy new year, dear cousin.” I smiled at his comforting words but I still feel a bit sad that I wasn’t able to wish a happy new year to Faramir or Uncle Denethor or my brothers.

I wonder how they are faring or if they worry about Boromir and me as much as I do about them. Until another time.