Then There Were Ten - Chapter #3 Nazgul

"You draw far too much attention to yourself, Mr.Underhill". Sally said, as she pushed Frodo into Aragorns room. Frodo fell to the floor, and Aragorn closed the door behind them.

"What do you want"? Frodo demanded, juming to his feet.

"A little more caution from you, that's no trinket you carry". Sally answered.

"I carry nothing".

"Indeed". Aragorn said, as he put the candles out, and ripped his hood back. "We can avoid being seen if we wish. We can disappear entirely. That is a rare gift".

"Who are you"?

"Are you frightened"? Sally asked, throwing back her hood.

"Yes".

"Not nearly frightened enough, we know what hunts you". She said, as she walked over to the door.

Suddenly, three anger Hobbits burst into the room. Sally and Aragorns swords were immediately out. "Let him go, or I'll have you longshanks"! One of them cried.

"You have a stout heart, little Hobbit. But that will not save you. You can no longer wait for your Wizard, Frodo, they're coming". Sally said, as she put her sword away. "That's why you should stay in here, with us, tonight".

"You can sleep in my bed, I won't be needing it". Aragorn offered, as he put his sword away. He pulled a chair up to the window, and sat down.

Three of the Hobbits climbed into the bed, while Frodo sat down at the end. Sally pulled anouther chair up to the window, sat down, and propped her feet up on the window sill.

They sat in silence for a while. But Frodo decided to break that silence. "So, what is an Elven Maiden, like yourself, doing in a place like this"?

"To protect you, and your friends. The story is a little long, but I found out that you had the One Ring, and was heading for Bree. I came swifter then a lightening bolt on my horse, Earelen". Sally answered.

"What's your name? Isn't Marawen a little Manish for a female"?

"No, it isn't. You can call me Sally Eleniel when we reach Rivendell. But, in the wilderness, I'm known as Marawen, it means destiny".

"Eleniel, what does that mean"?

"It means Daughter of the Stars. I was given the name because I shine like the stars, or so I'm told, when I'm no clad in my cloak. I was also given the name because I love to sleep outside, under the stars. But all Rangers love the outdoors. But the people think that we're dangerous folk".

"Butterbur was saying something about that. He said that Rangers were dangerous folk who roam the wilds.

"That is true, Rangers do roam the wilds. But we also protect things, such as your Shire".

"But I've never seen any Rangers protecting the Shire".

"That's because we hide ourselves, that way you, the Shire folk, don't have to worry about us, or any others that might be dangerous. We Rangers are smart, trained to blend in with the wilderness about us, living off of smallanimals. Some consitered it a hard life to be a Ranger, but I find it enchanting. But, then again, I am not like most people now a days. There use to be a time when people loved to be outside, outside, under the stars. But those days are long over, and frogotten. And my time is ending here. I will soon have to leave, and join my kin in Valinor".

"That's sad". The sandy haired Hobbit said. "I don't know why, but it saddens my heart to learn of Elven departures. Why do you leave"?

"Because our time is ending. Middle-earth must now pass on to the other inhabitancies of Middle-Earth. Soon, no Elf will be left remaing in Middle-Earth. But don't worry your heart too much. Maybe I'll take you with me when I leave".

"Oh! I'd love to! But I must stay with Mr.Frodo. I swore to help him, and so I shall".

"Oh my! You talk as though it would kill you and Frodo were separated. Tell me your name, for few Hobbits have I known that speak with as much promise and honor as you have just spoken".

"My name, Lady Sally, is Samwise Gamgee, you can call me Sam. And that is Pippin Took, and Merry Brandybuck". He said, pointing everyone out".

"Well, it's good to finally have all your names".

"These Undying Lands, what are they like"?

"I don't know, I've never been there. I've only heard stories. My Grandmother is from there, though, and most of my family has sailed across the sea. They sailed not long after the Last Alliances battle against Sauron's armies. And I shall join my family there soon. My twin sister, Katie, Daughter of Nature, traveled over there before the War of the Ring. It broke my heart to say goodbye to her. Even though she did not die, but it still grieves me to be so far from my twin. I mean, what if I get killed, what would happen to her? She's of my own flesh and blood... I shall soon have to join her to make sure nothing happens to either of us. I wonder-" She was cut off by a blood freezing sceam.

Sally looked out the window. The Nazgul had arrived. "They're here". She whispered, as the Nazgul climbed down from their horses, and entered the Inn. "They're inside the Inn".

Pulling out their swords, as they stood, the Rangers made themsleves ready. Just in case, Sally took her chair, and wedged it against the door, then stepped back.

A couple of mintues later, there were more blood freezing screams fill the air. Sally walked back over to the window, and saw the Nazgul come out of the Inn, jump onto their horses, and ride out of Bree.

"What are they"?

"They were once men. Great kings of men. But Sauron the deceiver gave to them nine rings of power. Blinded by their greed, they took them without question. And one by one, they fell into darkness. Now they are slaves to his will". Aragorn answered.

"They are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths. Neither living nor dead. At all times they can feel the presents of the ring. Drawn to the power of the one. They will never stop hunting you". Sally added. "That's why we'll lead you from Bree tomorrow. Get some rest". She unwedged her chair from the door, sat it back next to the window, and sat down. Meanwhile, Merry, Pippin, and Sam went to sleep. Frodo sat at the end of the bed, and slowly fell to sleep.

Sally looked at Aragron. "[I should go and get some rest. I'll put Frodo in my bed. I don't want to wake the others just to get him a place to sleep]".

"[Goodnight, Sally]".

"[Goodnight, Elessar]". Sally stood, scooped Frodo up, and made her way to her room. She gently lied Frodo in her bed, and tucked him in. Then she picked up a chair, and sat it next to the window.

She sat down, and looked out the window, seeing the beautiful Stars overhead. "I shall soon be joining my kin, in Valinor". She leaned back, and fell into a deep sleep.

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