Today's Date in the Shire
T.A. 3018: The Company of the Ring stays in Rivendell preparing for the journey ahead.
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
Frodo wakes the next day feeling much refreshed. He accompanies Sam and Gandalf to the porch where he had found his hobbit friends the day before. Today it is filled with many people. Glorfindel, Glóin, Strider and Elrond are there, and several others Frodo does not know. Three Elves are introduced as Erestor from Rivendell, Galdor from the Grey Havens and Legolas from Mirkwood. There is also a tall Man who calls himself Boromir. He is from the far-away kingdom of Gondor and has just arrived after a long and dangerous journey. everyone has been invited to join the Council of Elrond.
Glóin begins the day by telling how Balin, one of the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain, has disappeared. Several years ago he took several Dwarves with him in an attempt to retake the lost halls of Moria. At first word had come that his mission was a success and he had reoccupied the mansions under the Misty Mountains, but then came silence. Since then the people of The Lonely Mountain have heard nothing more from Moria.
Glóin has other disturbing news. About a year ago an emmisary from Sauron had come to the Lonely Mountain. He was searching for a person named Baggins and a golden ring he might posessed. He promised great rewards for any information that might help recover the ring. Dain, the King Under the Mountain, had not answered the emmisary, but had instead sent Gloin to Rivendell to seek Elrond's council and to warn of Sauron's request.
Elrond then speaks, telling the history of the wars against Sauron and of the different people who have opposed the Dark Lord over the Ages. He recounts how at the end of the Second Age the Last Alliance of Elves and Men had assaulted Sauron in Mordor and at last overthrew him. Elendil, King of Gondor and Arnor, cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand, but he was slain in the deed. His surviving son, Isildur, unwisely took the Ring as an heirloom, and set forth for his Northern Kindom. But he was waylaid and slain by orcs while marching near the Gladden Fields, and the Ring was lost.
Boromir of Gondor then stands and tells how his country fights ever on against Sauron. In June of this same year an army had come in force out of Mordor and attacked the soldiers of Gondor. Boromir's folk had been driven back by the attack, forced to abandon the eastern shore of the Anduin River. He and his brother Faramir had barely survived. But on the same night of that attack Faramir had a confusing dream. A voice spoke to him in verse urging him to seek counsel in Rivendell. Boromir took up the quest in his brother's stead and had journeyed for 110 days to reach this place. He hopes to find the answer to the riddle of his brother's dream, and he seeks aid against the Enemy.
Aragorn then rises and answers some of the riddle. He identifies himself as the heir of Isildur and the ancient throne of Gondor. As proof of his lineage he shows the broken shards of the sword of Elendil, the same sword that had broken beneath Elendil as he fell defeating Sauron. Isildur had carried it northwards when he was attacked, but where the Ring had been lost the sword had not. Ohtar, squire of Isildur, had escaped the attack and carried the shards of the sword to Rivendell. Since then the heirs have carried the sword as a token of their lost throne.
But now the discussion turns back to the Ring and how it came to be found again. Bilbo tells his story of how he came to posess the Ring many years ago, finding it in the dark cavern of Gollum. Gandalf explains how Gollum had got the Ring. He knows Gollum's story because he, with Aragorn's help, had actually tracked and captured him. After long questioning, Gandalf discovered that Gollum had actually entered Mordor in his search for the Ring. There he had been captured and questioned by the Dark Lord. There is now no doubt that Sauron knows that the Ring has been found again.
Legolas, the Elf from Mirkwood, now stands and delivers his news to the Council. After interrogating Gollum, Gandalf had left him in the care of the Legolas' people. The Elf tells how a force of orcs had recently attacked Gollum's guards and he had escaped. They had tracked him through the forest but were unable recapture him.
Gandalf now explains to the Council what had kept him from returning to the Shire and aiding Frodo in his flight. In June of the year he had been in the Shire but had met Radagast, a wizard of his order. Radagast gave him a message that Saruman, the leader of the wizards, needed to speak with him. Gandalf left a note for Frodo with Barliman Butterbur in Bree with strict instructions to send it immediately. He then rode off in haste to Isengard, Saruman's stronghold.
But at Isengard he was surprised to find that Saruman had called him for an evil purpose. He demanded that Gandalf join him in an allegiance with Sauron, a demand which Gandalf refused. For his refusal he was locked at the top of the great tower of Orthanc, put there as a prisoner by Saruman to be dealt with later. In the meantime, Saruman was gathering an army to attack the enemies of Sauron.
Gandalf had remained in the tower for many days until he was rescued by the great Eagle Gwaihir. The Eagle came in the night and carrier Gandalf away from the roof Orthanc, setting him down in the country of Rohan. There he was not well recieved Théoden the King, but he was allowed to choose a steed if he would leave the country immediately. To the King's dismay, Gandalf chose the mightiest horse in Rohan, Shadowfax, and rode away towards the Shire.
The wizard rode as fast as he could across the leagues of the wild country between Rohan and the Shire, but he arrived too late to find Frodo still in Bag End. He rode on to Crickhollow but was again too late, finding all of Buckland in an uproar over the attack of the Black Riders. He just missed him at Bree and actually passed Strider and the hobbits as they trudged through the Midgewater Marshes. He tried to wait for them at Weathertop but was attacked by Black Riders and forced to escape into the Ettenmoors far to the north. After two weeks of running he finally managed to reach Rivendell only three days before the Ring.
With Gandalf's story finished, the Council returns to the discussion of the Ring. What should be done with the Ring? Boromir suggests using it as a tool of power, but Elrond tells how it's magic would turn all such efforts to evil. Some suggest taking the Ring into the far West where it would be protected from Sauron. But that is the road Sauron will expect them to take and the road he will block the hardest. In the end they arrive at the decision that the Ring must be destroyed. But there is only one place in Middle-Earth where that can be achieved, at Mount Doom where it was created. Someone must take the Ring there and throw it into the Fire. But who?
After a long silence Frodo stands and says "I will take the Ring though I do not know the way."
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