Disclaimer: I don't own Lord of the Rings or any of the characters/locations associated with it. I only own the original characters.

Author's Note: Alright, everyone, I'm back. This story was posted in late 2005, and revisions started in 2007. If you are a returning reader, I sincerely hope you enjoy the revised version. The chapters get considerably longer from here on out; I purposely made this a shorter chapter as it is the introduction. Thank you for reading and enjoy!

Introduction: "A Dark Past and a Darker Future"

She could barely remember her previous life; her life before all of the pain that she now held deep inside of her heart, her life before that day.

The morning that she still tried desperately to push from her dreams was the day that her parents were murdered. She had been so young, still a child, and she had had nowhere to go. She fled blindly to the nearest village where she found the only employment that she could at an inn.

She worked there for two years doing odd jobs and making little money, just enough for food and a bed to sleep in. She wasn't sure why the master of the inn said he needed her help so much, as the jobs she was assigned to could have been performed by any of the women she saw walking about the inn. When she came of age, however, she learned of the innkeeper's true intentions.

The innkeeper, who demanded to be referred to as "Master," began calling her a "guest pleaser," and she soon learned the nature of the title. Really, the title "guest pleaser" was just a more aesthetic name for a prostitute. But no, a prostitute would earn money. She was no longer paid for her services.

One would think she could simply leave, but she knew better than that. Her one close friend at the inn had tried to escape, but the master had spies watching all the time, waiting for someone to try to run, so that they could deliver swift retribution. When her friend was caught, she was beaten so badly that she passed away a day later. She was granted no funeral, not even a quick prayer of departure.

When she herself had decided she would rather die than continue on serving vile men seeking one night stands, she took her chances and fled. She did not get far. Instead of being beaten, as she expected, she was forced to the ground and branded on her upper back with the emblem of the inn. Perhaps that was worse than a beating, as she would never be rid of it.

The things she had to do to fulfill her master's wishes made her sick, but sleeping with the men who came to the inn earned her two meals a day and a small, cramped chamber at the far end of the floor. She had resigned herself to the fact that she would never be able to escape. She had been promised a slow, painful death if she was caught trying to sneak out again. And even if she were to somehow get away, where could she go?

But, whether it be by coincidence or by fate, her predicament would change drastically one cool autumn evening.

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