An ominous hiss filled the chamber for an instant, then it was gone. In the darkness of the caves, no-one could see what caused the noise. “What was that?” cried a voice from the back of the chamber. There was no answer. A young female hobbit, a mother, kept her two small children held close. In the darkness a few feet away, her husband arose and ventured into the eternaly menacing twilight of the caves. “I don’t know dear. Nothing my eyes can see.” He shivered and made his way back to his family. “Whatever it is, it has us cornered in this cave,” said the wife, “I fear for the children…” Her husband reached down to where she sat on the rocky cave floor, and grasped her cold hand firmly. “We will find a way out. We will.” It was a tender moment, and the last the two would ever share.
Above their heads, unbeknowest to them, a sleek form readied itself to pounce.
In one of the many forests of eriador, a group of cloaked figures moved quietly on. The chief man, raising his hand commanded the group to halt. “Do you not hear it? I swear I heard a voice…” he said no more, but instead headed towards a solemn looking cave several yards off the trail. He cautiously entered the cave, and following his trained senses he found the source of the noise. A young hobbit sat sobbing, it’s arm and forhead drenched with blood. The man called out. “Gilsarag! Come, I need you.” Another ranger entered the cave, (for rangers they were) and knelt beside his captain, looking with curiosity at the hobbit child. “Lord Aragorn, what,” said Gilsarag, “Would a halfling be doing this far into the wild?” Aragorn shook his head, and gently questioned the hobbit. “Are you lost?” No answer. “Are your parents near?” This time the hobbit answered feebly, “They were…” and then began sobbing again. Aragorn turned to Gilsarag and rose. “He must come with us. Gilsarag, carry him.” The ranger obeyed. Coming back to the group, Aragorn and Gilsarg said no word, and the other rangers asked no questions, trusting their captain. They departed, and the young hobbit fell asleep.