Glory Through Sorrow


1. Hobbits and a Ranger

On the outskirts of Bree, a woman hides in the woods. She waits to see signs of the one she was told to protect. A hobbit by the name of Frodo Baggins shall be the one she is to find. Worries stream through her head even though she knows he is going to be here soon, she foresaw it, but she still worries something may change due to her interference.

This woman is Aravatar, the oldest being alive. She contain half of the soul of Ilúvatar. A burden rests upon her shoulders, one like no other. She is in charge of making sure the Theme of Ilúvatar is unchanged. She knows all things that are going to happen except when the Theme changes events become blurred in her mind. Ilúvatar has trusted her to help and she will not fail him.

A noise comes from the road to her right. Four Hobbits come down the road talking among one another. She follows them silently to the gate and stops at the side of the gate so she does not frighten them. One of the hobbits is the first to step up to the gate. He pulls back his hood and she can sense the evil of the ring and she then knows who it is. A man opens the gate and asks, "What do you want?"

Frodo replies, "We're heading for the Prancing Pony."

The gatekeeper opens the gate to see the hobbits and says, "Hobbits! Four hobbits! What's more out of The Shire by your talk! What business brings you to Bree?" He looks down at the hobbits.

"We wish to stay at the inn. Our business is our own." Frodo replies looking up at the gatekeeper.

"Alright young sir, I meant no offense. It’s my job to ask question after nightfall. There’s talk of strange folk abroad. Can’t be too careful." He says and then steps aside to let the hobbits through the gate.

Aravatar watches as he closes the gate behind them. She thens walks up to the gate and knocks. The gatekeeper opens the gate looking for more hobbits but he comes face-to-face with Aravatar.

"What do you want?" He says beginning to get frustrated with people knocking on the gate.

Aravatar looks at him and replies, "I am meeting someone very important at the Prancing Pony."

"I'm so sorry my lady... I-I mistook you for one of the Rangers." He says while immediately opening the gate. He then moves a side to let her through.

Aravatar could tell he thought her to be an Elf and sensed his apprehension at letting her inside of Bree. Elves rarely go to the settlements of Men causing of fear of them. 'Good thing I'm not Of the Eldar... But what a fright he would have if he learned she was Aravatar the Eldest of All, as Men have taken to calling her.' This made her chuckle. She then walked until she reached the sign of the Prancing Pony.

As she walked in, she looked at the people inside. She then saw the hobbits talking to Butterbur. She then stepped up behind them. Frodo then turned around to look at her and shifted nervously. She then turned to Butterbur when they were finished and said, "Butterbur, is there a Ranger here tonight? I am looking for a friend of mine." She knew it was a lie but she needed to shift the attention from Frodo quickly so they could find a table.

"A Ranger?... There is one here tonight he goes by Strider, my lady those Rangers are a dangerous sort be cautious." Butterbur said looking towards the back corner. There a man sat. He was wearing the normal Ranger garb and was smoking a pipe. His eyes were trained on Frodo.

"Thank you Butterbur for you help." She said then walked to a table off to the side of 'Strider'. 'You would think he would come up with a more clever alias than that' she thinks to herself while fixing her cloak to hide her hair and face. It would not serve her well to reveal herself yet.

Strider stares at her as she sits down. He had overheard her asking Butterbur for a Ranger. 'I do not know her so she must have meant someone else or she could have lied. He looked at her strange almost velvet-like brown cloak. It covered her face and he could see a sword at her hip along with a quiver. He could tell no more about her than that.

Aravatar was looking through Strider's thoughts when she heard one of the hobbits, who she could now identify as Peregrin Took, said "Sure I know a Baggins. He’s over there, Frodo Baggins. He’s my second cousin once removed on his mother’s side and my third cousin twice removed on his father’s side, if you follow me." Her head turned towards Frodo as he ran towards Peregrin. He slipped and the ring feel onto his finger. He disappeared to the normal eye but to her there was a dark cloud of evil where he was moving.

Strider then grabbed Frodo when he pulled the ring off and dragged him upstairs. Aravatar silently crept behind them. She heard Strider talk to Frodo and then she opened the door. Strider immediately aimed his sword at her. She then pulled down her hood and Strider lowered his blade. She then said "Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you." just as Strider was about to say it. He stares at her blankly as if to say 'You stole my line!'

The door then opens and the other three hobbits come in brandishing makeshift weapons. Strider pulls out his sword but then lowers it after Samwise said, "Let him go, or I’ll have you, Longshanks!"

Strider then says, "You have a stout heart little hobbit, but that will not save you. You can no longer wait for the wizard Frodo. They’re coming."

"He is right Frodo, Gandalf is not coming. It is too late to leave they are almost here." Aravatar says moving to look out the window.

"Who are you Miss, if I might ask?" Says Samwise worried for his companions.

"He is Strider and I am Milya." She says turning to him, "and you do not have to worry about Frodo around me." She knew it was bad to give them a fake name but she could not tell them who she is yet. It would endanger them to know so early on in their journey.

Strider looked at her sensing she was not telling the whole truth. He gave her a look and Aravatar responded to him, "Avon thos, Aragorn telin le thaed."

He looked at her for a few seconds in shock that she knew his real name. He then replied, "Hannon le."

"Merry what are they saying?"

"I dunno' Pippin..."

Aravatar and Aragorn looked at the hobbit at chuckled. Then they moved the hobbits to the inn across the street. They stuffed the hobbits' beds with pillows to make it look like they were sleeping.

They then told the hobbits to go to sleep while Aravatar and Aragorn watched for the Nazgûl. Late in the night, Strider turned to her and said, "My Lady who sent you to help the hobbits? I was told by Mithrandir not to expect help from anyone." He then turned away from the window to look at her.

"None but Eru have sent me to help you. Sometimes the Istari do not foresee events because they are to stubborn to look." She says turning towards him with a smile.

He then chuckles and says, "You speak in riddles, My Lady. Mithrandir is wise but you are right about him being stubborn. I have not meet the other wizards so I would not know if that applies to the others. My Lady what cause could you have to help the hobbits, surely you must have a family to take care of.

"You must not know me by my Elvish name then because surely if you knew you would not say such. I am Aravatar the Eldest of All, and I rarely am told by Ilúvatar to help. This means when my brother tells me to help it is of the utmost importance." She says thinking to herself about the last time Eru asked her to help.

It was 60 years ago. He had asked her to help the King Under the Mountain reclaim his kingdom. No she must not think of the past... It will only cause pain. She remembers the Battle of Five Armies, seeing Thorin get struck with a sword. She then ran to save him and Fili was stabbed. She then was torn on who to help. Kili was then struck by an arrow to the throat and Fili healed his brother. She for the first time didn't know what to do.

This will not happen this time. She will make sure everyone who goes on this quest will return home even if it kills her.

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