~Then There Were Ten~ Chapter #15~ The Taming of Smeagol, and The Beginning of the Path Into the Dead Marshes~
Turuna stretched a little, and looked back at the Hobbits, for whom she waited for to caught up. Her eyes stared out in the direction of Mordor. Again, she had sunken down into a pit of despair, and had not said much to Sam and Frodo since they had left the Anduin. Her face was grim, and her eyes were as cold as ever.
She looked down at Frodo and Sam who now stood by her side. “Where do we go now?” Frodo asked, looking about the surrounding lands. They all looked the same to him, just razor sharp rocks.
Turuna remained silent, and Frodo turned to her. “Milady, what is wrong?”
She shook her head, as if coming out of a trance. “Nothing, nothing my dear Frodo.” She turned and looked at him, but her eyes were not convincing. Slowly she turned, and looked down a cliff that they stood near. “We’ll have to get down there.”
Frodo looked over the cliff too. “But I can’t even see the bottom. How are we suppose to get down that?”
Turuna looked over at Sam. “I trust Sam still has the rope my Grandmother gave to him.”
“Oh!” Sam put his bag down on the ground, and pulled the elvish rope out of one of the side pouches. He then handed the rope to Turuna. “Here you are Milady.”
She handed it back to him. “You tie it up. For I have heard that you are one of the best at doing knots.”
Sam blushed a little, kneeled down, and tied the rope to a rock. He then stood back up, and turned to Turuna. She gave him a slight nod, and grabbed a hold of the rope. “I’m going down first.” Then, with little effort, she leapt off the edge, and used the rope to propel herself down the sheer rock face. She had done this a lot in her younger years, and had enjoyed it, especially when her father had done it with her and they jumped off really high cliffs like this.
She soon reached the bottom, which had not been as far down as she had thought it would be. She looked back to the top. “Well, I’m at the bottom, you may come down now.”
The Hobbits then began to make their way down the rope, not as gracefully as Turuna, but they got to the bottom alright. Sam sadly looked upon the rope. “It’s a shame we have to leave that rope. Lady Galadriel gave that to me.” He stepped forward and tugged on it a bit. “But there’s nothing for it, that’s one of my knots. It won’t come free in a hurry.”
But just then the rope came undone, and fell down. Sam looked in amazement at it. “Well, I’m glad we got off it when we did or else we would have gone down with it.”
“But Mr. Frodo, that was one of my knots! No, I think it came to me by call. Am I not right Lady Turuna?” He asked, turning to Turuna. She just smiled bleakly, turned, and began to walk away. Sam looked at Frodo, and they followed.
They continued on for a few more days, munching on Lembas, and drinking some of the extra water Turuna had brought along. She did not eat very much, instead it seemed as though she was saving up the food just in case something were to happen to where they would need it. She also seemed to be cutting back on the amount she drank, and this worried Sam and Frodo. She did not seem to tire, but they knew better.
She seemed to stumble a lot, and her strength was not as great as it should be. But whenever Frodo or Sam confronted her with this, she’d just give a really bleak smile, turn, and walk away. So it was no us trying to make her eat the amount she should be eating.
Finally, a few nights later, Turuna decided to stop in a nice area sheltered by bunch of rocks, that would be nice shelter from the rain if it were to come in the middle of the night. But she was sure it wasn’t going to anyway.
She sat down, leaded back against the cliff, and wrapped her cloak more closely about her. The Hobbits took out their blankets, and laid them out. They then laid down on them, and wrapped their cloaks closely about them to keep them warm. Before long, the two Hobbits were asleep. Turuna, too, seemed to be asleep, sleeping in the ways of the elves with her eyes open as if she were in a never ending dream.
A few hours later, Turuna was awaken by one of her feelings that someone was near. Without moving anything but her eyes, she looked up. And in the darkness, she saw a figure slowly creeping down the rock face towards them. It was Gollum. She stayed very still so she would not give herself away to knowing of his presents.
Gollum continued to come down, his eyes fix on the Hobbits. He was hissing, and cursing them in a low voice. He got to a point on the rock, and began to reach down towards Frodo. “It’s ours it is, and wes wants it!”
That’s when Turuna leaped up, leapt forward, and grabbed Gollum. He, taken by surprise, cried out, and punched Turuna. Turuna fell back, but did not loosen her grip on Gollum, and he was dragged to the ground with her. He punched her again, making her roll onto her back, then wrapped his legs and arms around, and began to strangle her. He bit her should, and she rolled back over onto him, but he did not let go, only dug his teeth further into her shoulder.
Frodo and Sam were now up. Frodo leapt forward, Sting unsheathed, and he held it up to Gollum’s throat. Gollum immediately took his teeth out of Turuna’s shoulder, but did not loosen his grip. “This is Sting, you have seen if before, haven’t you, Gollum? Now release her, or I will cut your throat.” Frodo said a flame burning in his eyes.
Slolwy, Gollum loosened his grip, and let Turuna go. Turuna stood back up, and turned back to Gollum. “Sam, tie him up with your rope.”
Sam nodded, pulled his rope out, and tied Gollum up with it.
The next day, Turuna was leading the way again, but she could hardly think with all the noise that Gollum was making. He kept screaming, saying that the rope was burning him. “Curses the Elveses! Curse their bright eyes! Take the Elveses rope off! It burns! It burns us!”
“Quiet you!” Sam finally yelled, turning back to Gollum. But Gollum just let out another cry, throwing his head back. “It’s hopeless! Every Orcc in Mordor is going to hear this racket! Let’s just tie him up and leave him!”
“No! No, that would kill us! Kill us!”
“It’s no more then you deserve!” Sam shouted back. But Gollum only screamed some more.
Frodo walked up to Sam. “Maybe he does deserve to die. But now that I see him, I do pity him.”
Gollum then sat up, and crawled forward, towards Frodo. “We’ll be nice to them if they be nice to us. Take it off us. We swears to do what you want. We swears.”
“There’s no promise you can make that I can trust.” Frodo said, as Turuna stepped up by his side.
“We swears to serve the master of the Precious. We will swear on…on the precious!”
“The ring is trechrous, but it will hold you to your word. Also promise to serve the Lady Turuna, and never to curse the elves.”
“We swears never to curse Elvese again. We swears to serve the masters of the powerful rings.”
Frodo then knelt down in front of Gollum. “You’ve been to Mordor before?”
“So you know the way?”
Frodo then reached up, and took the loosely tied on rope that was about his neck. “You will lead us to the black gate.”
Gollum nodded. “To the gate.” He then took off, leading them away. Turuna, with the faster feet,w as able to keep up better then the other two Hobbits. She would repeatedly tell Gollum to slow down for Frodo and Sam.
It did not take Gollum too long to lead them out of Emyn Muil. They soon stood, overlooking a greatly fogged in area. Turuna knew what the place was very well. The Battle field in which The Last Alliance’s war with Sauron had taken place. It had been turned into Marshes slowly over the years, engulfing the graves of many that were buried there.
Turuna looked down into the waters, and saw the faces of many dead Elves, Men, and Orcs. Something in her heart began to ache, for most of the Elves she now saw in the water she had once know.
Not to far away she saw Legri, an honourable young Elf who had been cocky, yet a good swordsmen. He had always hung out with Turuna, telling her all these great jokes, and making people laugh. But then, when it came to the day that Sauron stepped onto the field, he had died.
He had been fighting back to back with Turuna, sword gleaming in the little bit of sunlight that had shined upon the battlefield in which they were fighting upon.
But then it happened, Turuna had been knocked off by her feet by a great punch, and he had twirled to stop her attacker from doing her in. He was able to kill the Orc, but was not able to turn back to another attacker that was attacking him in time. He had been run through, and he had fallen to his knees.
Turuna had immediately jumped back to her feet, and had slain the orc. But, when she knelt down next to Legri, and took him up in her arms she knew already that it was too late to save him. With a blood covered hand, he reached up and touched her face, smearing his blood on her cheek. “Don’t forget me, Turuna. A mother you are to me, and I hope that a son I was to you.”
Turuna let a slight tear fall from her eyes onto his paling face. “Of course you were like a son to me Legri. Don’t you ever think any different.”
Legri nodded. “Then mother I name you. Take care mom.”
Turuna had placed her hand on his cheek. “Say hello to my family son, when you reach the Halls of Mandos. And goodbye.”
With that, he smiled, and breathed his last breath. Turuna sat there for a moment longer, her heart broken. But then, she picked up her sword, let Legri’s body fall to the ground, leapt up and began to fight with a rage non had seen in a many great years. All were afraid to look into her eyes, and those that did were struck by fear, wether if they were foe or friend.
She quickly looked away from the body, and back up to Frodo, Sam, and Gollum. “Be very careful now.” Gollum hissed. “Or you will go down to join the dead ones and light little candles of your own.”
Frodo then kinda went off to the side, and looked down into the water. At first, Turuna thought he was just looking at something. But then, as if pulled down by some sudden weight, he fell into the water.
Turuna ran forward, unbuckling her belt, and quiver and threw them aside in a flash. She then dove down into the water, knowing the dangers of swimming in the waters of the dead.
Frodo fell into the water, and his eyes widen as he saw what was about him. The souls of those who had died her, and his bodies rested her, began to come towards him, reaching out for him. He began to fight to get away, but he felt himself being taking by some force.
But then, something dove into the water, and a bright light shone. Frodo looked up, and saw a maiden, or so it seemed, dressed in white with long flowing hair. She reached out to him, and grabbed him, pulling him close into a hug. She then turned, and began to float back up to the top, but something stopped her.
She looked down, and saw that one of the soul’s had grasped her foot, and was trying to pulled her down into the water. She kicked at the soul, but it did not let go, just tightened it’s grip.
For a moment, the maiden, who looked like an angle in Frodo’s mind, began to panic. But then, someone reached down into the water, grabbed her, and began to pull her and Frodo up.
Turuna and Frodo emerged back to the surface, and were pulled out of the water by Gollum. Gollum was breathing heavily, but he shook his head after getting the two out of the water. “Don’t follow the lights!” He hissed.
Turuna stood, picked her belts, weapons still attached, and put them back on. She sighed some, and turned to Gollum. “Thank you Gollum, you do not know how much I appreciated your help.”
Gollum’s eyes suddenly lite with a small light, surprised that this Elf was actually thanking him. She smiled some, and motioned for him to follow. “We’ll be back shortly Hobbits, stay here, and do not go near the water.” She then turned and walked away. Gollum followed.
A ways away she stopped, and knelt down next to him. “I wish to thank you Gollum. And the only way I can think of is getting you some food. How does a nice birdy sound?”
“Birdses?! Me wants birdses!” Gollum smiled like an innocent kid.
Turuna gave a bleak smile, and stood. She lightly began to sing, almost not loud enough for even Gollum to hear her. But, from afar, came a birds cry. In came a bird, swooping low, and landing on Turuna’s arm.
She lightly petted the bird, and thanked it for being willing to be food for Gollum. She took it by the head, and snapped it’s neck, giving it a quick death. She then handed it to Gollum, who joyfully took it, and ran back in the direction of the Hobbits.
For a moment she felt sorrowful for the bird, but it quickly passed like all her feelings now did. She turned, and walked after him. Soon she came back to where the Hobbits were, and sat down next to Frodo while Gollum ate his bird.
She stole a quick glance back at the water, and saw that, where Frodo had fallen in, was a familiar face. `Gil-galad!’ Her mind screamed, as she reconized his armour, his spear, his bright Elven face. She quickly turned away, breathing heavily.
Frodo laid a hand on her shoulder. “Are you alright Turuna?”
Turuna quickly gained control of her breathing, and shook her head some to clear the thoughts that had been racing through her mind. “I am fine, Mr.Frodo. Don’t worry about me.”
She stood, and walked to a rock that was a good distance away, and sat down. She began to think quietly to herself. She knew that she would fall in the same way he did. Just maybe, not to death, but surely into darkness…