Beyond the Mists - Chapter Two
There, the other men were already busy tacking up their horses, chatting and laughing all the while. Not wanting to give herself away, Nessa chose a different set of tack to what she normally used - she guessed the silver harness of a princess might be a little easy to spot. For a split second, she wondered whether or not she should use another horse - but as she gazed at her own white mare, patiently waiting for her, she knew she couldn't leave her out of such an adventure. Ten minutes later, she sat nervously on Elformen's back, glancing at the men around her as Captain's Lerron and Alforn informed them of what they were doing. This is it! She thought, I've finally started it - my own adventure!!!
Out beyond the inner reaches of Leithen, the mysterious Nine Walkers continued their journey, unaware of the commotion they were causing only a few leagues away. Never had such a strange company been seen traveling through that land, nor any other for that matter. At the front trudged an old man, grey and bent with age, leaning upon a wooden staff to aid his walking. His tattered grey hat overshadowed his worn face but also his eyes; they were not sagging and gaunt, but a piercing grey and full of life and spirit. This was Gandalf the grey, a powerful wizard of the Istari, though to most he was merely the maker of splendid fireworks.
Behind Gandalf came the dwarf, huffing and puffing, his armor and axes clinking loudly as he followed in the wizards footsteps. Gimli son of Glóin was his name and typical of all dwarves, he held a beauty for under the earth in his heart and a deep mistrust of Elves.
In the dwarf's wake came 2 of the small people who had puzzled their espiers so much. They were not children, but Hobbits of the Shire, a peaceful fertile land in the N.E of Middle-earth. The first, his hazel eyes wide and believing, tried to walk over the rocky path while half turned to his companion, which resulted in him stumbling extremely often. His friend it seemed was deep in the process of a very serious discussion.
"And that, Pippin," said the second," is why potatoes are so rare in the mountains."
"Oh I see - I wondered why we had to carry so much. You'd think there'd be all sorts of different foods along the way, wouldn't you Merry?"
From behind them came a clear ringing laughter. It was Prince Legolas, son of King Thranduil of Northern Mirkwood, the first elf to be seen in those lands for a long time. His bright blue elven eyes shone with a joyful light and his fair face was beyond the measure of mortal men. So easily did he walk upon the ground that his light shoes left no prints and he seemed almost not at walk at all.
Following the elven prince was another of the mistaken hobbits, though he was darker and taller than the others. He did not speak and seemed to be in in-depth thought, his brow furrowed and his head bowed to the ground, troubled. He sighed and turned to the final hobbit behind him.
"I'm sorry Sam. I don't think I can help you there - you know I've never been a good cook!"
"That's alright Mr. Frodo," replied Sam, with a typical Shire-ish(now officially a word!!!) accent," We're bound to find some 'erbs on the way, with all these foreign lands we're passing through. Look at all that King's Foil - sorry, Athelas - we found at Weathertop! I'd not a given it a second thought if old Strider hadn't told me!"
Listening to the hobbits conversation were the two men, bringing up the rear. One was Boromir of Gondor, a mighty warrior, his characteristic shield slung over his back as he spoke to the other man. Aragorn was his name, his eyes showing wisdom of years, not hate of them and he was taller and of lighter build than Boromir.
"The White City is spectacular indeed Aragorn. The men fight valiantly in its name, the women sing in the streets. Yet now the men are few and far between and the women have gone to the hills. It is a sad time for the City of Gondor." and his eyes were downcast to the path. Aragorn remained silent, his grey eyes staring and yet unseeing across the landscape.