Hope and Dreams - Chapter 6- The Council of Elrond and Battling
The Council of Elrond and Battling
A bell wrung out in Rivendell, it was time for the meeting. Muriel had gone into the courtyard before hand, so she wouldn't be late, but she had not sat down until all the seats were filled. Muriel looked around her at the people before her. She was the only woman there. The Hobbit, Frodo, was there, along with Aragorn, Legolas, Elrond, and the Dwarves. There were also people that she didn't recognize but she was sure they were at the banquet. An old man with a walking stick sat next to Frodo. And next to the dwarves sat many men, but there was only one young one. He had a depressing look to him, as if he saw no hope in the future. There were also some of Legolas's companions there. She took her place next to Aragorn. Muriel looked at Legolas with a worried smile, he smiled back to her as if to say, "Don't worry you'll do fine." She wondered if her dress looked alright, she was wearing a dark green dress with flowers in her hair. Elrond stood to signal silence.
"I thank you all for coming at short notice for this is an urgent meeting. The fate of Middle-earth rests in all of our hands." He looked around into the face of everyone. "We will unite or we will fail. The fate of the world rests on this one doom. Bring forth the ring Frodo." Frodo nervously looked up, he walked to the stone table in front of all of them and set a small gold ring on it. Frodo then walked back to his seat relieved.
-That's what where here for? Where here to destroy a ring! Boy, a ring is realy dangerous.- Muriel thought sarcastically.
-Shhh, Elrond's speaking again.- Phoenix shushed her.
"As you can see this is Sauron's ring, the ring of power. The ring that we have sought for, for many years. For decades the ring has laid silent, but no longer. Sauron's power is growing, he is calling all evil to him." The hair on Muriel's neck and head began to rise when the name Sauron was said. All she knew was that he was the evil she was trying to stop. "He forged this ring in mount doom using gold and his own blood. The ring is a part of him, and because the ring survived, he survived though the ages. Our job is to decide what to do with it."
The young man sprung to his feet. "It is a gift, we should use it against Sauron. He won't stand a chance if we have the ring."
"No one can control it, it has only one master. To use it against Sauron is to invite death to all of us," Aragorn said.
"And how would you know about it?" The young man snapped at Aragorn.
"He knows more about it then you do apparently." Legolas said standing up "He is Aragorn, hair to the throne of Gondor. You owe him your allegce."
Muriel stared at Aragorn, he's the next king for a country? She thought, why hadn't Legolas told her?
"This is Isildur's hair?" he asked questionably to Aragorn.
"Havo dad, Legolas. -Sit down, Legolas," Aragorn said. Legolas gave him a sympathizing look, he didn't like someone criticizing Aragorn, but he knew that it wasn't his place to tell people about Aragorn's heritage.
"Boromir, please, sit," came the voice of the old man next to Frodo. "Aragorn is right we cannot use the ring."
"Agreed" said one of the older dwarves, "but what shall we do with it? We can't leave it here."
"You have only one choice. The ring must be destroyed." Elrond said.
"Then what are we waiting for?!" One of the younger dwarfs said leaping to his feat. He grabbed the ax that was next to him and ran at the table. With a powerful swing he brought the ax down on the ring. A bright flash illuminated the whole area, Muriel watched with horror as the dwarf fell back. She knew now that she was against a powerful force. One that could not be beaten with weapons alone.
" The ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli son of Glóin, by any craft that we here poses. It was made in the fires of Mount Doom only there it can be destroyed." Elrond said glaring at the dwarf.
Suddenly the old man next to Frodo stood up and in a deep voice said, "Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg tharkatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!" It seemed to Muriel that fear itself put a black blanket over the sun. She looked at the ring, when she did she saw a great flaming eye watching her, Come to me. Come to me! it seemed to say. Muriel had to restrain herself from going to the ring and putting it on her finger. The shadow seemed to pass but she could still feel the eye watching her.
"Never before has any voice dared to utter words of that tongue in Imladris, Gandalf the Gray." Elrond said. Muriel looked at the old man once again, he seemed weary.
"And let us hope that none will ever speak it here again," answered Gandalf. "Nonetheless I do not ask your pardon, Master Elrond. For if that tongue is not soon to be heard in every corner of the West, then let all put doubt aside that this thing is indeed that the Wise have declared: the treasure of the Enemy, fraught with all his malice; and in it lies a great part of his strength of old. Out of the Black Years come the words that the Smiths of Eregion heard, and knew that they had been betrayed:
One Ring to rule to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the Darkness bind them."
Muriel looked back at the ring. It's amazing that such a small thing can cause so much fear and pain, she thought. She turned her attention back to Elrond, for he had begun to speak again.
"Someone must go to Mordor and throw the ring back into the fires of Mount Doom." He said. "One of you must do this."
"One cannot just simply walk into Mordor." Boromir stated. "It is guarded by more then just Orks, there is evil there that dose not sleep. A great eye, lidless, wreathed in flame. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume, not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly."
"Haven't you heard anything Elrond just said?" Legolas said standing up. "The ring must be destroyed!"
"And I suppose you think you're the one to do it!" Gimli the dwarf said standing up.
Everyone started arguing and saying nasty things about each other, only Frodo, Aragorn, and Muriel were still sitting. She looked over to the ring, she knew that it wanted them to bicker, but how she knew it she did not know. She looked across to Frodo, he was staring at the ring, with an expression on his face that he was looking at something that was hideous.
He suddenly jumped up and said "I will take it!" but no one heard him. Muriel then stood up and whistled as loud as she could. Everyone stared at her.
"I think," She said "Frodo has something to say." They all turned to see the small hobbit. "Go ahead Frodo," she said to tenderly him.
"I...I just said that I will take the ring, though I do not know the way." He said timidly.
"I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggens, as long as it's yours to bear." The old man, Gandalf said as he went to stand next to Frodo.
Aragorn then stood up and walked over to Frodo and kneeled. "By my life or death, I can protect you, I will. You have my sword."
Legolas also walked up to Frodo gracefully, "And you have my bow."
"And my ax!" said the dwarf Gimli.
"And, if I will be permitted, I shall come too." Muriel said mightily. She was ready for anything. Legolas gave her a hesitant look. She looked to Elrond for approval, he smiled and nodded. She walked up to Frodo and said, "You have my service and whatever I can give you to help you on the journey."
"I shall come too. If it is the will of the council, then Gondor will see it done." Boromir said.
A shout came from the bushes and a hobbit came running up. "Mr. Frodo not going anywhere without me!" he said.
Elrond smiled, "It entirely difficult to separate you, even when he is sent to a secrete council and you were not."
"Where coming too!" Came a shout behind Elrond. Elrond turned to see two hobbits come running up. "You're going to have to tie us up in a sack to stop us." Said one of them. "Anyways," began the other "you need people of on this sort of...mission... quest...thing." Muriel smiled at this, for he sounded as if he didn't even know what he was doing.
"Fine," he said smiling again "you shall be the fellowship of the ring. You shall leave tomorrow. You are all dismissed."
Muriel quickly turned and headed for the stables. She knew that she had to prepare, and she wanted to prepare her horse first.
Legolas looked around at all the people leaving. Where was Muriel? He had wanted to speak to her about her agreeing to this mission. Then, he saw her, she was walking very fast in the direction of the stables. He jogged after her, hoping that he could talk to her before she had made up her mind. He had about caught up with her when she reached the stables.
"Chula, Ahern. Hello, Ahern" She said to the large mare in front of her. She began to stroke the large nose that Ahern had pushed in her shoulder. Ahern whinnied, Muriel knew that someone Ahern knew was there, even if she didn't here that person come in. Legolas stepped up beside her, looking at the colossal horse facing him. He didn't know what to say at first so, he too, began to stroke the head of the creature before him.
"I...You know that this quest will be perilous, don't you?" he asked her. "We might not even make it back from Mount Doom, if we destroy the ring."
"I know, I shall come partly because if I didn't my father would have been very angry with me." She said.
"And the other part?" He asked her.
She smiled, "The other part is because I know that you will need all the help you can get. Besides I would be bored to tears if I knew that you went on a death-defying journey and I didn't go," she teased him but he did not smile. He was too worried that she would be killed on the journey ahead. He wouldn't be able to stand life without knowing she was safe. "I know what you fear," She said compassionately to him. "I will make you a deal, If you can find one person who can best me in a sword fight on a horse, then I won't go."
He smiled, "Do I have your word on that?"
"Of coarse," She answered, grinning.
"Then I accept you wager," He said, and with that he left. Muriel chuckled, she knew that he wouldn't find one, for Aife could not be beaten. Even if he didn't want her to use Aife, she wasn't a lantruni-danga for nothing. She got her saddle from the compartment above the stall. She got out her grooming kit. Ahern need grooming, and Muriel now wished that she had neglected her for so long. The hair was coming off profusely in clumps when she started brushing.
Legolas knew that he had to find Aragorn, if there was any that could beet Muriel it was him. He went to Arwen's room, he knew that she would know were to find him. He knocked on her door, "Coming." Came a voice from inside. Arwen stock her head into the doorway. "Legolas, what can I do for you?" She asked him courteously.
"I am looking for Aragorn, do you know where he is?" Legolas asked hurriedly.
"Yes, after the council he was going to speak with Gandalf. Why?" Arwen asked. Legolas said nothing, he knew that Arwen and Muriel had become good friends during the past few days. "Please tell me, is there something wrong with Muriel?"
Legolas looked into Arwen's eyes and said, "No, there is nothing wrong with Muriel. She and I have made a bet. If I can find a person who can best her at sward fighting on a horse then she won't go to Mordor with the rest of the Fellowship."
"Why don't you want her to go?" Arwen asked. Arwen stared hard into Legolas's eyes, she knew why even though he said nothing, his eyes told Arwen all she needed to know. Arwen nodded, she knew herself that it was hard to fall in love with a mortal. Legolas turned and left, he had to hurry to find Aragorn.
He found both Gandalf and Aragorn in Gandalf's room. He had knocked and Gandalf had said, "Go away you bothersome hobbits! Can't a wizard have any peace?" Legolas didn't know what to say so he opened the door.
Aragorn and Gandalf stared at him for a moment before he said, "Excuse me, but could I speak to Aragorn for a minute?"
Aragorn grinned and said, "Of course Legolas. Come in." Legolas hesitated wondering if his question was a foolish one. He entered the room very uneasily.
"Aragorn, I have a favor to ask of you. The Lady Muriel and I made a bet that if I could find a person better at a swordfight on a horse then her, she won't go to Mordor with us. I am asking you to battle her, you are the only one who can defeat her." Legolas didn't know if Aragorn would say yes or no, he just knew that he had to ask. To Legolas's surprise Aragorn leapt to his feet.
"I was just asking Gandalf if we could get the lady not to go, but now you have given me a better reason. When shall we battle?" He asked Legolas.
Legolas hadn't thought of that. "At one o'clock, in the meeting area?" he asked Aragorn. Aragorn smiled, "One it is." Legolas stood there dumbly for a few seconds, he thanked Aragorn and left. He had to find Muriel now to tell her who she was up against and when she was going to fight him.
He finally found her in her room, sharpening her sword. Legolas had never seen a more beautiful sword, it had a blue stone in the end of the hilt and a powerful look to it. He almost forgot to tell her about her match with Aragorn, but when she looked up at him he thought of everything. "You are to fight Aragorn at the meeting area at one." He said.
"Thank you, I shall get ready." She said standing up. She got her fighting clothes out of her pack, her sash, and some saddle oil. "Um, I am going to have to change though."
"Oh, I will leave you to yourself now." Legolas said blushing. Muriel smiled at him before he left.
A few hours later she was on horseback sword in hand, preparing to fight. She slashed at invisible enemies, the last time she was this pumped about something was when she was at her lantruni- trials. She could remember like yesterday how she beat everyone at the trials. She took off all their sashes, all but her fathers. She could remember how proud she was of herself. Everyone else said that she couldn't compete, that she didn't have the noingha to compete. She sure showed them! It was about time for her and Aragorn to compete when she had the vision. She was surprised that the vision had come to her without her calling it forward with the l'eavue. Although she was used to getting them, so she quickly quieted her horse and watched as a foresight swam before her. She saw a tower black as obsidian loom before her. It was being rebuilt, many tiny torches showed that it was being done by night and day. She looked up only to see the thing that she dreaded the most, the eye of Sauron. It seemed to speak to her Come to me! Come to me! it yelled at her. She seemed to be lifted up in the direction of it. She shouted at it to leave her alone. It laughed at her, she could see herself falling she tried to open her wings but somehow they weren't responding. "Oomph." She said as she landed on the ground. She looked around herself again, she was back in Rivendell on the ground. I must have fallen when I received the vision, she thought to herself shakily. I have to get to the arena, she thought to herself and quickly remounted Ahern and took her into a gallop toward the meeting place.
Aragorn was waiting for her on a horse when she got there. Muriel tried to smile but she couldn't stop thinking about the eye. Why had it said, "Come to me" ? What did it want from her? These ideas seem to keep popping into her head. Ahern put one of her ears back as if to say "Stop it!" Muriel stopped thinking about the eye and started thinking about the task ahead of her. She made herself look at Aragorn. He was frowning at her, she gave him a questioning look.
"Are you ready?" He asked her.
"Of course," she could feel the adrenalin pumping in her veins. She was more ready then she was ever going to be.
"Shall we discuss the rules?" He asked her.
"Of course we shall. It would be pointless to have a match without rules," Muriel said.
"You make the first rule then," He said shortly.
"Sure, um..." She was trying to think, I have a spare sash in my saddle bag, she thought. She pulled it out. "Where I come from, when we compete against each other we wear sashes, and whomever cut's the others sash off first is the winner." She gave it to Aragorn.
"Alright, then there shall be no drawing of blood. Where looking for skill not bloodshed." Aragorn said.
"Agreed, we do not want to hurt each other." Muriel said. "That sounds good, unless you have another idea."
"We need someone to tell us to start and stop," Aragorn said. Muriel looked around, there was a crowd gathering around them. She saw the young man who had agreed to go to Mordor with them.
"Boromir, is it not?" She asked him. He nodded courageously. "Can you tell us when to start and stop?" He nodded again. "Good," She said.
She trotted Ahern across from Aragorn's position. Aragorn slipped the sash over his head and onto his belly like Muriel's.
"Are you ready?" Came the voice of Boromir. Aragorn and Muriel lifted their swords to show that they were ready. Muriel could feel Ahern tense up for the battle. We're not killing, she thought spoke to Aife, just cutting his sash. "Go!" Ahern sprang to life. Aragorn's horse did the same, their swords clashed in the middle. They were matching each other blow for blow, but Muriel didn't give up. After several minutes she started to become very annoyed. She could feel her hair curl under her fury. With each blow she blocked, her anger grew. Aife began to glow blue, until a flicker of blue flame came at the tip. Then the whole sword burst into blue flame, but Muriel didn't care, all see was concentrated on was cutting her opponents sash. Aragorn on the other hand was having a terrible time trying to block Muriel's blows. He had never fought a stronger appoint in his life. The blue flame wasn't done growing though. The flame ran down her arm, down her body till it covered her, but it still wasn't done, the flame reached her horse. Ahern didn't seem to mind that it was running down her either. The crowd was mesmerized by the sapphire flamed rider. Aragorn was hardly able to keep the blows at bay now. How was this possible? he thought to himself, there must be a black magic at work for her to fight like this, there was no other explanation. Muriel was getting tired but she didn't care, Aife was having her hand move not her. Then, Muriel saw her chance she quickly slashed at his sash. It fluttered to the ground, it was over, and Muriel breathed a sigh of relief as she looked around. The crowd stared at her like she was some kind of freak show. Aragorn came up to her from behind, "I believe this is yours." He handed her the, now torn, sash.
"No, you keep it. Where I come from when you get your sash cut you have earned the right to wear it." Muriel said holding his sash back out to him.
"Your sash isn't cut. Are you an exception to the rule?" Aragorn said questioning her, trying to trip her up.
Muriel laughed she slipped the sash over her head and showed the underside of her sash to Aragorn. Aragorn looked, there in the middle was a small cut carefully mended. Aragorn looked up into Muriel's face, she was smiling at him. He only took his sash from her and turned the horse from her and rode off toward the stable. "Muriel." Came a soft voice behind her, she turned to see Legolas standing there. "I...I was wrong, I would be honored if you would come with us to Mordor." She stared at him, he was very attractive standing there with the wind blowing in his blond hair. She blinked, she had almost forgot to answer him.
"Yes, I shall come with you to Mordor." She said. I can't fall in love, she thought to herself, even if I were from Middle-earth I couldn't fall in love with him. She wanted to fall in love with him though. Legolas nodded to her.
"I shall see you tomorrow, vanimelda." Legolas said turning to go. Vanimelda, Muriel thought, what dose that mean? She turned Ahern toward the stables, she thought about the words the computer gave her. She searched the information, vainly trying to translate the word. Although, once she was at the stables, she gave up. Once more she got out her grooming kit. She groomed Ahern until she shone like mirror reflecting the sun. The sun had gone down by that time, but still she worked. She started oiling the saddle, she thought of her mother. It seemed just like yesterday she remembered it so well, and she missed her very much.
-Well, at least you have me.- Phoenix said.
-Hay, you're not supposed to be listening to my personal thoughts or memories!- Muriel said to her.
-Hay is for horses and, well, it's kind of hard not to listen to your thoughts when you have a strong emotion to it. Oh, and you might want to look at what your doing to your saddle.- Phoenix said with a laugh. Muriel looked down at the saddle she was oiling, she had only oiled one spot and it had almost dried. She started to rub the oil on the rest of the saddle. She went back into her privet thoughts but remembered to keep rubbing the saddle in different places this time. Well, she thought, at least I haven't married him yet. She shuddered, he hated the man her father was making her marry, and he was always staring at her with a strange look in his eyes. Sometimes, when she would lay down to go to sleep she would feel his eyes on her. She looked down to examine the job she had just done on her saddle. Not bad, she thought to herself.
"Meow." Came a sleepy voice around the corner. Senay slipped her head around the corner, to look at Muriel.
Muriel laughed, "Chula, Senay. Lei dormir bien?- Hello, Senay. Sleep well?" Senay came up to Muriel and purred her loudest. To Muriel it seemed the ground shook with Senay's purrs. "Oui, Oui.- Yes, Yes" She laughed again. "Io se couche. -I'm going to bed."
She walked up the three flights of stares to the room that she had slept in last night, watching Senay follow her from behind. She opened the door to find the cat rushing in, leaping on her bed, and falling quickly asleep. Muriel quickly changed into her night clothes, and folded her fighting close.
-Wake me before dawn. Ok Phoenix? Will you wake me up at the right time, this occasion.- She asked Phoenix questioning her powers.
-Of course I can! I'm calling your little bet!- and with that Phoenix gave a deep throated laugh. Muriel drifted quietly off to sleep hoping for the best tomorrow.