Today's Date in the Shire
0 2 Lithe
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
Book I - Chapter 12
Flight to the Ford
Strider finally returns carrying healing leaves of Athelas. He explains to the hobbit that he was wounded by the Black Riders when he wore the Ring. The Ranger uses the leaves to treat Frodo's wound, easing his pain somewhat. Strider thinks the Black Riders have left for now, and at daylight he leads the part southwards across the Great Road and into the thick, wild country there.
The party travels for five days, and Frodo's wound grows worse. Because he can no longer walk fast enough to keep up with the otehrs, he must rider their pony. Strider fears that a tip of the Black Rider's knife was left in the wound and may be poisoning or infecting Frodo.
The terrain they are in changes, and Strider leads them back northwards towards the Road. By the next day they cross the Last Bridge. The Ranger finds a single pale-green jewel in the mud in the middle of the bridge, but he is not sure what it may signify. They cross the Bridge and leave the Road again, this time traveling north of it.
The land here is rougher, and they can see the remains of ancient stoneworks on the crests of the sourrounding hills. Aragorn tells how long ago the Men of the Northern Kingdom had dwelt here but had been driven away by the Witch King of Angmar. but now it is a lonely, pathless country.
The hobbits continue on behind Strider, and Frodo's wound worsens. Finally, they come to a dead end and are forced to climb a steep and treacherous ridge. Frodo has to dismount and climb with the rest of his friends. They camp at the top of the ridge, worn out and worried.
After breakfast the next morning they turn back southwards to see if they can find the Road again. Pipin is walking ahead and suddenly comes running back shouting to the others. He has found a path! They follow it until it leads to a large door set in the side of a cliff. It hangs open.
Inside, they find nothing but old bones and empty jars and broken pots. Definitely a Troll hole, but long abandoned. They continue on down the path and are surprised by yet another discovery. There are trolls ahead in a clearing. But Aragorn seems to have no fear. He walks right up to the three standing trolls and raps one with a stick.
The trolls in the clearing are none other than the petrified remains of the trio that almost ate poor Bilbo Baggins many years ago. The five travelers share a good laugh and continue on. By early evening they reach the Road at last.
As they consider emerging into the open they hear what they had been dreading - the sounds of a horse on the Road. They conceal themselves but are surprised to see not a Balck Rider but an elf lord shining in the night. Aragorn rushes to meet him. It is a friend of his, Glorfindel of Rivendell, and the Elf has been looking for them. He explains that is was he that left the green stone on the Last Bridge as a token should they find it. They discuss the Black Riders and agree that they should rush on to Rivendell as quickly as possible.
But before they go on, Glorfindel has a look at Frodo's wound. It has grown much worse, but the Elf uses a healing technique to ease the hobbits pain. He allows Frodo to mount his horse and they all continue on into the night.
They travel hard into the next day, resting only once, when they are overtaken by Black Riders. Frodo, on Glorfindels horse, rushes forward drawing the Riders towards him. They run a deadly race which Frodo barely wins by dashing across the shallows of the Ford of Bruinen just ahead of the Riders. He waits on the far side while the nine Riders gather for a final assault.
Frodo refuses to be captured. As injured as he is, he stands in his stirrups and challenges the Riders to leave. They laugh and advance, sure of themselves, but are caught in a sudden rise of the river which has magically swollen into a violent flood. The Riders that manage to back out of the torrent are driven back into it by the fury of Aragorn, Glorfindel, Gimli and Legolas.
Frodo slumps from the saddle, sliding to the ground. He saw and heard no more.
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