The Life of Aralorn-Daughter of Gondor - Chapter 14
Aralorn waited with great anticipation for the members of the secret council of Elrond to arrive in Rivendell. But at the same time, it frightened her. The circumstances of which they - truthfully, all - were in, was no joke.
Feeling the need to gallop upon Ithil - or fly upon the moon as she interpreted it, Aralorn quickly made her way to the stables. She ran a brush over the mare's silver coat, not spending much time grooming Ithil, for she had earlier that day. Then she set the bridle over Ithil's head, leapt onto her back and gathered the reins as the animal beneath her toe-danced, before they were both set loose. They thundered along the path. The wind swished past Aralorn, carrying her long, dark hair as well as Ithil's mane. Trees and rivers swept past them, all a blur. There was no other kind of freedom than that on the back of a horse. She caught sight of another rider coming toward her, and so she pulled Ithil to the right of the path to leave room for the other rider. From what Aralorn could tell, it was a bay colored horse laden with supplies as well as a rider, who was different looking, heavier set than an elf. Was it perhaps a man? But that was all she made out before they flew past one another. Aralorn intertwined Ithil's mane between her fingers, and closed her leg as they went up a hill, before they were on flat, straight ground again. Finally, the animal slowed to a canter. Aralorn did nothing, but let Ithil choose the pace, and soon the two found themselves at the walk. It was then that Aralorn decided to turn back.
A little while later, the two were back at the stables. Aralorn dismounted and as she was leading Ithil to the stall, she passed the same man they had ridden past. She knew it was him because he was exiting the stall in which the same bay colored horse was. She watched him carefully as he closed the stall door, and walked away. Indeed he was of the race of men. But where from?
"Is that your sister?" Legolas asked, walking up behind Aragorn. The two of them were standing on a balcony, as the sun was high overhead. Legolas had brought Aragorn's attention downwards, and both of them were now watching Aralorn and the hobbits.
"Yes," Aragorn answered, wondering what the hobbits were excitedly telling Aralorn about, as she listened intently, giggling every once in a while. "My younger sister, Aralorn."
"How was she discovered?" Legolas asked lightly, laying a hand on the banister.
"I found her in Rohan, entirely by chance," Aragorn answered distantly, imagining the scene in his mind. "She had just lost her family in a house fire, and was being attacked." Legolas frowned.
"Someone had known of her true identity before you?" Aragorn nodded grimly.
"She was...very frail," he continued. "She would be easier to damage than a goblet made of glass."
"And it was from more than just grief," Legolas guessed.
"Indeed," Aragorn sighed. "I believe that it was being wrenched from her home, family, and the life that she had always lived - that was her comfort. She was shocked to learn of her true identity, and it took much time for her to adjust to her new life. Most of the time she seemed depressed or afraid - ever doubting herself."
"She looks anything but that now," Legolas glanced at Aragorn.
"She does, though..." Aragorn said, looking back at Legolas, before returning his eyes to his sister. "she is still a quiet lady. But, she shows her sense of adventure on the back of a horse."
"Ah, yes," Legolas smiled. "She did indeed come from the home of the horse lords." Just then, Merry, Sam, Frodo and Pippin got up from their bench and walked away, waving good-bye to Aralorn. Aralorn sat there alone for a short time, before standing up and walking into the hall. Then the two of them heard her mounting the steps to the balcony on which they stood. Finally, her face appeared.
"Oh," Aralorn said, looking slightly surprised. "Forgive me if I have interrupted."
"'Tis alright, Aralorn," Aragorn smiled. "But while you are here, I would like you to meet someone: Legolas, the prince of Mirkwood."
"Your brother was telling me about you only moments ago," Legolas said, walking toward her. He was a tall, blonde elf, with brave and yet soft features upon his face. "and I am glad to be making your fine acquaintance." Aralorn gave a small curtsy.
"As am I," she said smiling, as he kissed her hand. "I suspect you are here for the Council...?"
"Indeed, I am," Legolas nodded, and Aralorn wondered who else might have arrived.
Later that day, Aralorn had decided to take a walk in the garden. It was a beautiful day: rich in sunlight and warmth. She looked at the ground, and her feet slowly advancing forward on the stone path. Suddenly, she looked up and saw an old man who was studying her, sitting on a bench.
"Am I mistaken in saying that you are Aralorn, the sister of Aragorn?" He asked. His hair was slightly tangled and grey - the same color as his wardrobe. There was great wisdom and kindness in his eyes, and it had a way of drawing her in.
"...Yes," Aralorn said, stopping in her tracks. The man smiled and stood.
"I have been very eager to make your acquaintance. I am Gandalf."
"Gandalf the Grey?" There was recognition in Aralorn's voice, for she had heard of him from Aragorn.
"Gandalf the Grey," the wizard confirmed.
"My brother has told me of you," Aralorn said, returning his smile. She found it hard not to.
"Indeed? `Tis true, though, your brother and I have known each other for long time," Gandalf said. "When he told me that he had a sister, I must say I was quite surprised."
"I was as well when I was informed of such news myself," Aralorn said. Gandalf cocked his head slightly, still smiling.
"No doubt," he said finally with a sigh. "You do indeed look like your brother. Would you care to walk the rest of the garden with me?"
"I would be delighted," Aralorn smiled broadly.
Aralorn sat in bed thinking about the Council that was to be held the next morn. She sighed, and looked at her two hands that were fidgety tonight. Aragorn was to be a part of it, to help decide the fate of the One Ring, and she felt lucky that she hadn't been asked to join as well. Aralorn was sure that she would be no help to the rest of the Council.
The next morning Aralorn awoke later than usual. The sun had fully awakened. The birds were chirping. She could hear the soft talk of elves beyond. She dressed quicker than usual, dealt with her hair and left her room. Just outside, she saw the hobbits talking amongst themselves.
"Well, I suppose it is time for me to go," Frodo said to the others.
"Mr. Frodo, can I not go, too?" Sam asked.
"No, Sam," Frodo answered. "You must stay here."
"Are you off to the Council, Frodo?" Aralorn asked.
"Oh, good morning, Lady Aralorn," Frodo said. "And yes, I am."
"Well, I hope it all goes well," Pippin chirped in.
Aralorn passed by where the Council was held a little while later. She couldn't make out what they were saying, and she began to walk closer. Her conscience suddenly chimed out, reminding her that it was not in her place to eavesdrop. It was then that she spotted Merry and Pippin hiding behind two pillars watching, their eyes glued to the people sitting in a circle of chairs. Aralorn smiled and silently crept up to them, once again, curiosity getting the better of her. She took her position behind Merry, making sure she was still hidden behind the pillar. He turned around quickly, but she put a finger to her lips. Merry gave a half smile, and turned back around to watch. Aralorn could now hear the Council loud and clear. Frodo was just now setting the Ring upon a small platform in the middle of the circle, and her heart froze, her breathing paused. A low, ragged, whispering voice called out her name. She looked around, wondering where it was coming from. It came again.
"Aralorn, Daughter of the Gondor," it said, echoing within her mind. She felt an icy grip upon her heart, and her eyes fell upon the Ring. How bright and beautiful it was...hardly looking its age. For a moment, she couldn't take her eyes off of it. Then Aralron blinked. No, she said to herself, loud and clear in her mind. The Ring said nothing for a moment.
"Aralorn," the Ring whispered louder, as it glistened in the sunlight. No! I will not give in to it, Aralorn narrowed her eyes. Finally, it ceased. She heard whispers and mumbles of amazement, and she looked around the circle surveying all of the people there. Indeed there were elves, dwarves and men. Some she recognized, such as Legolas, Gandalf, Frodo and the man she had passed on horseback who's name she had learned, was Boromir. Her eyes stopped when they came to Aragorn. He sat there, looking so kingly. As the others whispered, "So it is true!" and other such things, he only glanced silently around at everyone.
"It is a gift," Aralorn's eyes darted towards Boromir. "A gift to the foes of Mordor. Why not use this Ring?" Aralorn frowned as he continued and stood. "Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay, by the blood of our people are your lands kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him!" Aralorn bit her lip. She had guessed that someone would say something as this. Would he not be contradicted?
"You can not wield it. None of us can," Aralorn smiled with pride as Aragorn spoke. "The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master."
"And what would a Ranger know of this matter?" Boromir spoke again, still standing. How dare he insult her brother! Aralorn felt a mild rage within her heart. She felt like rushing in and telling this Son of the Steward that the man he called a `Ranger' was someone he should bow to. Legolas now stood.
"This is no mere Ranger," he said, in just the manner as Aralorn would have said it, and she applauded him. "He is Aragorn, son of Arathron. You owe him your allegiance." Aralorn set her jaw and looked back at Boromir.
"Aragorn? This is Isildur's heir?" He said, his eyebrows raised.
"And heir to the throne of Gondor," Legolas added, and Aralorn smiled. But then, in the elvish tongue, Aragorn told Legolas to sit down, which he reluctantly did.
"Gondor has no King," Boromir said, walking towards his chair, "Gondor needs no King." He sat down with a heavy sigh, looking back at Aragorn almost challengingly. Aralorn pitied her birth Country, if it was ruled by a man such as Boromir. Had he no respect for the rightful King of Gondor? It was Gandalf's turn to speak.
"Aragorn is right. We cannot use it," he said.
"You have only one choice," Elrond stood, holding his head high authoritatively. "The Ring must be destroyed." Aralorn heard more murmurs, and saw Boromir look to the floor, obviously against the whole idea.
"What are we waiting for?" One of the dwarves said, grabbing his axe. He rushed to the Ring and landed the axe upon it, only to be thrust backwards and land on the ground. Aralorn gasped, and her eyes widened. The axe lay in pieces. The Ring as if untouched. Aralorn noticed that Frodo had a look of pain on his face, and he laid his head in one of his hands, as he stared at the Ring. This puzzled her.
"The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any craft that we here possess. The Ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade. It must taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came." Suddenly, she heard the same whisper. She realized that it was the Ring once again. It was speaking in another tongue. Suddenly, it stopped, and all was silent. "One of you must do this." No one spoke.
"One does not simply walk into Mordor," Boromir said quietly. "Its black gates are guarded by more than just orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. And the great Eye is ever watchful." Aralorn felt a chill race down her spine. "'Tis a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust. The very air is a poisonous fume." His muscles tightened as if he, at this moment, could not breathe. "Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly." He shook his head.
"Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has just said?" Legolas stood again. "The Ring must be destroyed!" He looked around at everyone.
"And I suppose you think you're the one to do it?" Gimli said, a fire lit in his eyes.
"And if we fail, what then? What happens then when Sauron takes back what is his?" Boromir stood. Aralorn grew quite frightened. She glanced at Aragorn and saw an expression on his face, similar to one that a mother would have when her children bicker uncontrollably. Gimli ignored Boromir's question, but stood as well, and looked straight at the elf, as if he were three times the size of him.
"I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an elf!" He shouted. More elves stood, not willing to take the insult without fighting back. "No one trust an elf!" Merry turned around, a look of worry on his face, and Aralorn shook her head in an answer. Gandalf then stood and joined in, but she could not make out what he said through the shouting of all the others. Few still sat in their chairs, including Aragorn and Frodo. Frodo was staring at the Ring, his eyebrows bent in such disturbance. Aralorn wondered if it was again speaking, and she swallowed hard. Frodo then stood up straight.
"I will take it! I will take the Ring to Mordor," the hobbit shouted. Everyone stopped, and looked at him, looking quite surprised. "Though, I do not know the way," he added, more timidly.
"I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear," Gandalf walked to Frodo, standing behind him.
"If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will," Aragorn walked to Frodo and kneeled in front of him. "You have my sword." Aralorn was caught by surprise, but was yet filled with pride for her brother.
"And you have my bow," Legolas walked towards Frodo as well.
"And my axe," Gimli put in. The group was becoming larger by the second. Boromir walked slowly towards the group, and Aragorn laid a hand on Frodo's shoulder.
"You carry the fate of us all, little one," he said. "But if this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it done."
"Here!" Sam jumped up from out of the bushes - to everyone's surprise. "Mr. Frodo isn't going anywhere without me." He crossed his arms and stood next to Frodo. Aralorn grinned at this. She noticed that Merry and Pippin glanced at each other, and she knew what was going through their heads.
"Oi! We're coming, too!" Merry shouted, both of them finally giving away their positions. "You'll have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us."
"Anyway, you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission. Quest. Thing," Pippin said, and Aralorn could not help but grin. But suddenly, she realized she was all alone. She would be left behind. But she didn't dare run out there herself, and claim that she would go, too.
"Nine companions," Elrond spoke, a faint smile upon his face. "So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring." Aralorn sighed.
"Great," Pippin looked at Merry standing next to him, then back up at Elrond. "Where are we going?" Aralorn grinned again. The hobbit had no idea what he had just gotten himself into.
Hi everyone! Sorry this one took so long! It is a little longer, though, so I hoped it would be worth it! Thanks a bunch for reading, and I hope the Coucil of Elrond wasn't too boring. I hoped you liked it.