Author's Note:


Hello to all of my readers. I know that many of you have been waiting for a chapter for quite some time and I am happy that I can finally give it to you. I am sorry for the delay, but it was for good reason.

I had been rereading this story and some of the grammar and such bothered me, and then new ideas were starting to blossom in my head. I did not alter much from the original story, only added more material to give this story more depth. For all of my returning readers I highly recommend that you reread this story, or at least the first few chapters. Some were heavily edited and some are completely new. There is more material throughout the entire story as well.

The good news is that this is already completed and the new and improved chapters have all been posted. If you choose to check these out I would greatly appreciate it.

More good news - I didn't just post update chapters, but the newest chapter in this story has been posted as well.

I hope you all enjoy and I can't wait to hear what you think!

Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: I do not own anything belonging to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings or the world that Peter Jackson created for the movies. I also do not own anything related to the fan made film 'Born of Hope' created by Actor's At Work Production's.

Third Age 1978

A tall man was pacing outside one of the many rooms in the Elven city of Rivendell. He was lean, but strong. His sapphire blue eyes were set in a tanned and weathered face. Dark shoulder length hair framed his features, as well as a dark beard and mustache. He was clothed in the garb that the Rangers of the North wore. Dark breeches and boots with a dark green tunic under a dark brown tabard and leather coat. At his side was a sheathed longsword and a dagger.

He glanced nervously up at the door that he had been pacing in front of and closed his eyes as he heard a woman inside give out a cry of pain. When it was silent within the room once more he continued his pacing through the white Elven halls, his head cast down in thought and worry written on his face.

The Ranger looked up as he heard the sound of footsteps approaching and smiled when he saw a man round the corner. This newcomer was dressed like he, but looked as if he had just gotten off a horse. He still had on a dark hunter green traveling cloak, weapons still slung across his back, and his dark hair was windswept and messy. His tired grey eyes looked out from under his unruly bangs. On his left hand he bore a silver ring. A green emerald in the middle of two serpents, one crowning and the other devouring, the Ring of Barahir.

"My Lord Aranarth." the man addressed the newcomer. He raised his right hand placing it over his heart and gave him a bow. Aranarth was the first Chieftain of the Dúnedain and the heir of Isildur. He would have been King of Arnor and Gondor had the Northern Kingdom not fallen. He now led and protected his people in hopes of reclaiming their realm and glory.

"Do not bow, Dírhael. We are too good of friends for such things." Aranarth told the man who had been pacing the halls.

Dírhael smiled, "It is a habit, my friend." The two men walked towards one another and embraced each other in a brotherly hug. "Thank you for coming." he said as they released one another.

"You would have done the same for me." Aranarth told him and the two snapped their heads to the door when they heard another cry of pain. Aranarth looked back to Dírhael. "How long has she been in there?"

Dírhael sighed, closing his eyes and running a hand over his face. "It seems like days, but it has only been a few hours. One of the midwives will come out every so often and tell me that she is doing ok. Lord Elrond is with her as well helping with the delivery." Dírhael looked solemn "Every cry of pain from her is like a knife to my heart."

"I will not tell you that I understand how you feel, because I do not. But Elgarain is strong and she will pull through. Do not fear." Aranarth said clapping the man on the shoulder.

The two stood in the hallway for some time discussing news among the Rangers and throughout Middle-Earth. Anything to keep Dírhael from worrying. Though when a loud scream ripped through the air from inside the room, both men froze and Dírhael paled looking at the doors.

Then there was silence. They heard nothing for what seemed like minutes. Then the sound of a baby crying came through the door. Dírhael smiled and relaxed, a look of pure joy spreading throughout his face.

"It seems that you are now a father, my dear friend." Aranarth said from beside him and Dírhael nodded.

The large wooden door creaked open and a tall slender Elf with long dark hair and dark eyes stepped out. There was a circlet of silver set upon his brow. This was Lord Elrond.

"Dírhael." the Elf spoke. "You may come in now."

Dírhael glanced over at Aranarth and his Chieftain gave him a nod. Aranarth moved to sit on a bench while Dírhael walked into the room. Elrond closed the door behind the Ranger.

There were two midwives off to the right in the room, fussing over the baby as they cleaned and dressed it. Dírhael couldn't see his child at the moment, but he could see lying in the middle of a large wooden bed, his beloved wife, Elgarain.

She was fair and slender, which came with her race. She was one of the Rivendell Elves with long brown hair that usually cascaded down her back, but was now pinned up and plastered to her face with sweat. Her dark brown eyes were closed at the moment as she rested. Her pale slender hands were laying gently on her abdomen.

Dírhael looked over at Elrond and he nodded his head, giving him permission to approach her. Dírhael walked quietly over to the side of the bed and sat in the chair that was next to it. He smiled and reached over to gently hold one of Elgarain's hands.

"El?" he whispered using his pet name for her.

Elgarain breathed deeply before slowly opening her dark eyes and looked over at him with a smile. "There is my Ranger." she whispered quietly.

Dírhael leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead. "I've been here the entire time. Pacing in front of the door. I was worried for you." he whispered to her.

Elgarain smiled sadly. "I'm sorry." she barely whispered. "But you worried for good reason." She took a deep breath and Dírhael looked at her with a confused expression.

"Why do you say such things?" he asked not really wanting to know the answer.

"I will not be here much longer. I used what strength I had to bring our child into this world." She took another deep breath, closing and opening her eyes. "The light of the Valar is leaving me."

Dírhael shook his head. "No. I will not let you leave me."

Elgarain smiled gently at him. She reached up with her free hand to touch his face and then his heart, letting her hand rest there. "I will never leave you." she whispered. "I will always be in your heart."

"My Lady, My Lord." One of the midwives interrupted walking over with a small bundle wrapped in a blanket. The Elf and Ranger looked up at her. "You have a daughter." she said kindly and then placed the bundle into Elgarain's arms.

Elgarain and Dírhael looked at their small child. She had a tuff of dark brown hair and when she opened her eyes they could see a sapphire blue color. Her skin was pale and she was graced with the pointed ears of the Elves.

"She's beautiful." Dírhael whispered gazing down at his daughter.

Elgarain looked up at him and smiled. "She has your eyes. For that, I am glad." Dírhael looked at her puzzled. "You have such beautiful eyes, Dírhael." she stated and he understood. Elgarain's expression became solemn once again. "This will be another part of me that will never leave you." she whispered.

Dírhael stood and sat on the edge of the bed. He reached for one of Elgarain's hands and placed his other one gently on his daughter's stomach. "Please do not say such things now. Let us spend what time we have together without that thought." he whispered and Elgarain nodded. "What shall we name her?" Dírhael questioned.

They were silent for a moment until Elgarain spoke. "Authiel."

"Battle Maiden?" Dírhael asked her, surprise in his voice at her choice of name.

"Yes." Elgarain said. "I foresee her having your strength and courage in battle."

"A Ranger?" Dírhael asked rhetorically, but with a proud smile forming on his face. "My little Ranger." he whispered stroking his daughter's tiny hand. "Better that she has your courage and strength. Never have I seen you show fear, even now, when you know your fate." He leaned forward and kissed his wife gently on the lips.

The couple spent the next few hours speaking quietly together and admiring their daughter. The precious gift that they had created out of love. But as the light of day faded into evening, Dírhael watched the light in Elgarain's eyes fade as well. When the light in her eyes was diminished he was left alone in the candle lit room with only his daughter.