Author's Note: Written for Cressida's "Jewels" challenge.

Morning Jewels

The Rangers follow their Captain almost silently in a single file.

Now he stops, putting up a hand in silent caution, and his men do the same. The hand moves, telling them to proceed, and they again obey that single little wave.

Countless tiny dewdrops adorn a spider's web hanging between two low-growing branches. The sunrays play with them, transforming them into a mass of radiant gems. The Captain looks at them; and, though his pace does not slacken, the corners of his lips curl up in a soft smile, his eyes filled with the sparkling loveliness of Ithilien's morning.