The passage over the mountain of Caradhras was cold and hard. Before too long all but the elves of the company, were able to walk over the snow rather than through it, were feeling weary. Frodo stumbled and as he tried to keep his footing, he slipped and rolled down the slope.
Aragorn leapt towards the rolling Hobbit and stopped him from rolling on down the mountainside. Aragorn looked at him. “Frodo?”
Frodo got to his feet with the help of Aragorn. He reached for the ring to make sure it was still there on its chain around his neck, only to find it missing.
Boromir saw the ring lying on the snow just in front of him. He tentively picked it up it up by its chain. “It is a strange fate we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing…such a little thing.”
Aragorn growled loudly, “Boromir! Give the Ring to Frodo.”
Boromir looked up, his daze broken by the voice. He walked towards the young Hobbit and returned the Ring to him. “As you wish. I care not.”
As Frodo snatched back the ring, Boromir casually ruffled Frodo’s hair, then turned and resumed the relentless upward journey. Frodo watched the retreating man’s back, a look of suspicion on his face, whilst Aragorn slowly released the tight grip on his sword.
As they traveled higher snow started to fall heavily, becoming deeper and deeper, as the path grew narrower, until they were traveling blindly along a ledge jutting precipitously out from the mountainside.
With light steps the two elves walked over the top of the drifting snow, whilst the remainder of the company battled to plough through it. “I sense something amiss with this mountain,” whispered Solaris to Legolas.
“Yes; I too sense the evil within the snow itself,” he replied quietly.
“I’ll suggest to Gandalf that the company halts here so that you and I can scout the path ahead,” said Solaris.
Legolas nodded and continued forward, scouring the sky and mountain with his eyes as he went.
Solaris returned to Gandalf’s side and put her suggestion to him. “I have returned to ask that you would halt here, to allow Legolas and myself to scout the passage further ahead.”
“What can a Dark Elf do that Legolas would need her assistance in this?!” snapped a cold voice from behind Gandalf.
In an instant an arrow was aimed right at Aragorn’s chest. “Comments like that may cause the Fellowship to lose its first member, Aragorn!” Solaris spat at him. “Two pairs of eyes are better than one!”
Suddenly, they heard the roar of the mountain and in the distance, Legolas’ warning. Solaris shouted, “Run…white death!”
They sprinted towards Legolas, barely missing being hit by an avalanche. Aragorn’s voice carried over the wind. “He’s trying to bring down the mountain! Gandalf, we must turn back!”
Solaris joined Legolas, “You take the lead, and I will follow behind the party,” she said. Legolas agreed and Solaris waited till the company had passed her, Aragorn giving her a cruel look.
Suddenly, lightning struck the tip of Caradhras, sending a second avalanche down towards them. Aragorn quickly covered Merry with his body; Legolas pulled Gandalf from the edge; Solaris leapt over Frodo and Sam, shielding them with her body. When the avalanche finally stopped, they emerged from the snow, shaking it from the hair and eyes.
Boromir looked at the others and spoke, “We must get off the mountain! Make for the Gap of Rohan and take the west road to my city!”
Aragorn turned and snapped, “The Gap of Rohan takes us too close to Isengard!”
“If we cannot pass over a mountain, let us go under it. Let us go through the mines of Moria.”
Gandalf looked at Gimli who had spoken last, “Let the Ring bearer decide. Frodo?”
“We will go through the mines.”
Gandalf sighed, “So be it.”