12. Of the One Ring and the Son of the Steward
Frodo had walked slowly beneath the trees. Not far had he gone until he reached a path now in ruins. Following this he was lead to a flat topped stone ahead, Rowan-trees strewn about it. And thus he sat, quite forsaking his search for firewood. In truth, he wished only to ponder by himself. Aragorn had presented him with the decision of deciding which way the Fellowship would now turn. To Minas Tirith with Boromir, or into the East or even to break the Fellowship and each go their separate ways. This decision was left onto Frodo. This task burdened the Hobbit. He knew little of what he should do and longed for the wisdom of the fallen wizard.
“What would you have me do?” He asked Gandalf as though he stood before him. And that was when he had heard a rustling of leaves behind him. Unfriendly eyes seemed to stare at him through the trees. Frodo turned in alarm. Boromir emerged from the trees, coming to stand near the Halfling. The man’s face seemed changed, though not unkind.
“I was worried for you. None of us should wander alone, least of all you; so much depends on you.” Boromir sat next to Frodo. His demeanor was pleasant often, but now, though his tone had not changed, their was a strange glint in his eye. “Are you sure that you do not suffer needlessly? I offer you my counsel, as it would appear you are in need of some of late, if you would accept it.”
“I know what it is you would say, and it would seem like wisdom but for the warning of my heart.” Replied Frodo cautiously. Something seemed different about the oft kind and understanding man.
“Warning? Warning against what!?” Boromir’s voice grew somewhat angered. Frodo became silent, knowing himself the answer but not wishing to give words to it. “Long have my people fought and defended the lands of others...I would that the Ring went to Gondor.” At last the man showed his true colors.
“There will be no hope while the Ring still lasts...” said Frodo solemnly.
“Ah, but you speak of it as though it were of evil and only such! True in the hands of those that be evil so shall be the Ring, but why not use it towards good!?”
“No good can ever come of it...all that is done will be turned to evil. It is a wicked thing.”
“But so much good could come of it, Frodo! It would be an aid to Gondor...we could wield it against its master and defeat him. Were the Ring to come to me, I would drive away the foulness of Mordor forever. I would command with the very weapon of our enemy and make his defeat be all the more devastating! That would be the end of it, and nought would have come from it but good...! ” Boromir slammed a fist down atop the flat stone.
“Were you not present at the council of Elrond? None but the Dark Lord can truly wield the One Ring...nought but evil will come of it, certainly no good. Gandalf knew it was so! I offered it to him freely but he rejected my offer sternly. He said he would use it out of a want to do good, as you wish as well, but he knew what would happen and denied the Ring of what it wanted.”
“But it is a gift, a gift I say! You propose now to walk blindly into Mordor? You would be placing the Ring in the very hand of the enemy. Come with me to my city. It is near us now, and little farther than any other path you should choose to Mordor.” Said Boromir hopefully.
“My mind is clearer now,” said Frodo with a sigh. Something about the Son of the Steward had been changed and he trusted him all the less for this.
“Then do you choose Minas Tirith?”
“You misunderstand me.”
“But as I said, my city is so near, and so in need of the power the Ring could bestow...I beg of you, lend me the Ring, if only for awhile. I promise I will not keep it...”
“No, no! The task was given me and I will not abandon it...” Frodo knew he could not let Boromir have the Ring. No matter what the man intended.
“Now it is by your folly that we will be destroyed!! Why is it that a thing so powerful would be given to a Halfling and not the Númenor? It should have come to me! Give it me!!” The Boromir that had journeyed thus far with the Fellowship was gone. His face was no longer the kind and pleasant one of the man of Gondor. No, it was a face distraught with want and desire, corrupted by the evil that was the Ring. Frodo shrank away from the changed man.
Now Boromir’s voice shifted to a softer tone. “Come, come, Frodo! Would you not be glad to be relieved of its burden? Let me relieve you of its weight...!” And at that Boromir leapt at the Halfling, his eyes beheld a crazed look. Quickly Frodo ducked to the side and with that slipped the Ring upon his finger, disappearing from sight. Boromir landed within the leaves and looked around him, confusedly.
“A fool you are! You wish to use the Ring against us, do you not!? I know what it is you plan! You would forsake us here. You would take it to our Enemies! Plague and darkness come to the race of Halflings!! Fool!” Frodo scampered quickly away from the Son of the Steward. Down the path and into the trees. This the man heard and was then overcome by grief. He realized now what had happened. “What have I done?” Whispered the anguished man to the ground. “What have I done?”
Frodo ran as fast as his feet would carry him. He knew now that, though Orcs and now Uruk-hai prowled amongst the trees, danger was where his companions were as well. The Ring would slowly corrupt them all, just as it had Boromir. I am sure the others will search for me by now, it had taken far to long to collect firewood. But now it is apparent. I must leave before more harm is done unto this Company. I will go alone.
The other members of the Fellowship sat near one another and talked amongst themselves. All were worried by Frodo’s long absence, and more so by Boromir’s unexplained one. By now, they had all noticed. Narilvrin fidgeted slightly, wanted to stand. Merry and Pippin had grown bored with their assignment, but not so much that they had abandoned it. Narilvrin wished they would. She desperately wanted to seek out the Ringbearer. She had heard a loud rustling of leaves in the distance, as if there had been a quiet fray. The Elf knew what the cause of this was. Boromir had tried to take the Ring, she assumed sadly. There had been little sound afterwards, none, at least, that had been audible. Narilvrin wanted to make sure that Frodo truly was alright and had come away from his encounter with the Son of the Steward unharmed. If Frodo were to depart their company, Narilvrin wanted him to do so safely and not fleeing. Narilvrin was also angry with herself for she had been aware of Boromir’s disappearance and felt she could have prevented this had she not been so willing to trust in the man of Gondor. But that was not the only thing that concerned him. The evil that he had been dreading had at last found its way to the forest.
The Elf looked around himself for ways of escape. The tree she leaned against had a low branch and a plan began to grow in his mind.
“Merry, Pippin...” said Legolas quietly, gaining their attention.
“Hmm?” Said Pippin, leaning closer.
“Earlier today, when I was not been rendered immobile, I spied mushrooms near the camp, just thither.” The Elf inclined her head in the direction she meant. The two Hobbits’ faces lit up. Merry narrowed his eyes.
“You’re not trying to sneak away, are you?” Said Merry questioningly.
“Why would I do that?” The Elf did not want to lie, so instead she chose her words with care.
“You were so avid to steal away earlier, I am reluctant to believe you.”
“How would I ‘steal away’ with a broken rib?” Inquired Narilvrin.
“True enough,” said Pippin, slightly impatient for he was quite anxious to find the mushrooms, more so seeing as no food had been prepared yet. Merry nodded, though more reluctantly. The two Hobbits ran off in the direction Narilvrin had told.
And lo and behold, there truly were mushrooms. The Hobbits were immediately occupied. Narilvrin took her chance. Scooping up her bow and sword, she jumped to her feet. Leaping upwards as quickly as she could, she grabbed the branch and swung herself unto it. For a moment she sat, her body unwilling to move further. Aragorn turned swiftly and ran to the base of the tree. Luckily, Narilvrin was just high enough to be out of the Ranger’s reach.
“Narilvrin!” The Elf grinned, holding a hand over her side. “Get down!”
Narilvrin shook her head defiantly, and, at last regaining her strength, bounded into the nearest tree, heading off into the direction from which she had seen Frodo go. The leaves flew past her as he rushed to find the Hobbit. If Boromir had done no harm, Narilvrin knew that Frodo had still not escaped all danger. The Uruk-hai had reached the wood. The birds and other creatures of the forest had informed him of such. Frodo must leave the wood unharmed, for he carries with him the fate of Middle-earth upon his small shoulders...
Below she heard movement. But no, it was not that of a fleeing Hobbit, but rather that of a regretful man. Boromir her beloved was walking beneath, though very slowly indeed. His shoulders were hunched over and he trudged through the leaves with no apparent goal. Narilvrin dropped down behind him, receiving a wave of pain throughout her torso for doing so. Boromir whirled around, his hand upon the hilt of his sword.
“Where has Frodo gone?” Asked the Elf calmly. Boromir slowly lifted a hand and pointed in the direction from whence he had come.
“Off into the wood. He has fled...”
“From what did he flee?”
“From me. I...I tried to take it from him. I tried to take the Ring.” said Boromir, his eyes full of sorrow and regret.
“Head back to the others. There will come a time for explanations but it is not now. I will take care of Frodo,” said Narilvrin. I thought it was so...
“May I suggest that you also head back soon, once you find Frodo that is...Aragorn would not be too happy to see you walking about much less leaping from trees...” said Boromir, monotonously. His voice seemed to be near cracking. Narilvrin did not ask of what had occurred, she would find out soon enough and upon seeing her mate distraught, it urged her the more to get to Frodo.
“I will be fine. However, you could aid me, if you will. Tell them that the Uruk-hai has entered the wood and will be here soon. Please do not tarry in relaying this. Tell Aragorn what has happened. ” Boromir nodded, dejectedly. Narilvrin gazed at him, grieving silently inside before running swiftly in the direction that she assumed Frodo to be.
Though the Ring may have given the Hobbit the gift of invisibility, it did not cover his tracks. And Hobbit tracks are easy to distinguish. Narilvrin slowed. Her side hurt dreadfully. The drink Aragorn had forced on her was at last wearing off. Then she heard the drawing of a small sword. Sting.
Ahead, Narilvrin could see the Halfling holding a glowing blue sword in front of him. The Elf maiden could hear the cause for Sting’s warning off in the distance. The creatures lumbered along so noisily that Narilvrin could track every step they took.
Frodo now heard them too, though he was unaware of Narilvrin’s presence. Narilvrin nocked an arrow from where she stood. She let the arrow fly.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.