The Fellowship of the Toys

by Peregrine

Chapter 1: Mounts Selected

The room was dark but for the pale sunlight streaming in through the open curtains across the room. 'Twas the bedroom of Peregrine, long gone away with her family for a weekend-long trip. The door was open, but the house was empty. The only noise came from the steady bubbling of the fish tank beside the oaken bookshelf. Within the blue Beta swam and stirred, seemingly ignorant of the lives led without his watery home.

A shadow appeared in the doorway. Upon four legs it moved, with a smaller figure mounted atop. 'Twas a horse with an armed man sitting tall in the saddle. The only strange thing about the horse and rider was that the horse was barely even a foot tall, the rider even less. Of rubber and plastic they were made, not of flesh and blood. But they moved as one formed of bone and tendons. The wee horse--Brego by name--trotted into the room, the tiny chamber a cavern to the mount. The rider upon his back--Aragorn bearing Narsil in a long sheath at his side--reined the chestnut horse and dismounted. The wee creature snorted as Aragorn made his way across the gray carpet, avoiding the piles of books and papers along the way. Soon he stood before the bookcase--barely four feet tall but towering well over his head--and looked up. He could but barely see the feet of two figures seated upon the books high atop and he knew a third was hidden somewhere further back in the shadows.

"Legolas!" Aragorn shouted. Two heads popped into view, nearly identical. Rubber hair frozen into place whipped around their faces and identical bows were clutched in their hands. Swords of Rohan were strapped to each of their waists. A long cloak of rubber hung from each of their shoulders, afixed by a tiny rubber brooch. A quiver of arrows was glued to the backs, filled with five tiny arrows each, and two tiny Elven daggers graced miniscule sheaths.

"Yes?" they both cried down at the same time.

"Is Frodo up yet?"

Turning as one, the Legolases turned to look behind them. Not a moment later they turned back again and nodded--together, of course.

"Good. The Big Ones have long since gone." Aragorn called up. The Legolases nodded and one of the Legolases sprang down from the shelf, scrambled into a second and pulled out a wheeled orc shield. The second Legolas--who was actually the oldest of the two--sprang down bearing a wee Hobbit dressed in plated orc armor, bearing an orc sword and wearing a beaked orc helm. The wee Frodo only came up to Legolases's waist.

As soon as the three had reached the bottom, the two Legolases whistled. From across the room and atop a table came bounding a furry Dragon-like creature--Aravan by name. At a little over a foot long and about as tall, he was the mount of the Legolases. Though to Peregrine he was but a "puppet", he shed his disguises and could move as freely and as swiftly as any Human.

Frodo also whistled and down from above leaped a second, far smaller Dragon--this one named Dirk. He, also, was a "puppet", though not truly so, and he was Frodo's loyal mount. Brego, hearing the whistles, came trotting over to Aragorn and tossed his head.

"The others are awake." Aragorn said. "And the sun shines brilliantly through the high windows."

"It is time for our adventure!" Frodo exclamined joyfully--surprising, as he was clothed in such dreary dress. Aragorn--as tall as the Legolases with a long sword sheated at his side and a cloak of cloth afixed about his neck with black rubber clothes--smiled and nodded, rubbing the rubber stubble upon his face.

"Indeed it is. But, come, we have not long and it may take some time to reach the bottom of the stairs around the corner."

"Since the hounds are not here, how will Aragorn and Legolas--"

"What?" the Legolases chimed together.

"Uh . . . other Legolas. How will OTHER Legolas and OTHER Aragorn and Treebeard get around, then?"

Legolas--the one without the orc shield--pointed upwards to a shelf high, high above their heads across the room from them. There, high atop, treaded a massive camel. He was only about two feet tall, but he simply towered over all--including Treebeard.

"Camel shall bear Aragorn and Legolas."

"But then what about Treebeard?"

"Hoom-Baroom!" a voice boomed from the hallway. There stood Treebeard--only slightly taller than Aragorn himself--his rubber leaves fluttering slightly as he spoke. He had to move his right arm to speak. "Fear not, hasty little Hobbit. The one who lives in the room beside owns many large mounts. I shall find one that suits me."

"Very good." Aragorn grinned, mounting atop an eager Brego. The horse turned and trotted back towards the door. "Let us begone then. Aravan!"

The winged Dragon looked up, his sapphire eyes clear and bright.

"Can you please fetch Camel down from above? I do not believe he can make the jump alone."

The blue-and-black-furred creature nodded and flew upward towards the shelf. He returend within moments bearing a very disgruntled--and very large--camel.

"Very good." Aragorn grinned again. "It seems out adventure has begun!"