That night Aragorn told me of their Fellowship and their journey to destroy the One Ring. I knew little of this rings history, let alone the devastating power it wielded. Nor had I known anything of the dark lord Sauron in the ancient times. However, with Aragorn's explanations I came to realize the seriousness of the events.
It was easy to imagine the things the rest of Middle Earth had gone through. Winterhold, a city of the north, had only scarce involvement in the rest of the world. Our biggest threats were that of ice wraiths, frost trolls, and other dangerous creatures of the ice realm called the Northern Waste. However, our main fear was the dragons of Withered Heath, which was not far from our region near the Grey Mountians.
Aragorn had told me about their trek through the Mines of Moria and how one member of their Fellowship has fallen; about how they encountered the elves of Lothlórien; about how they had faced the Uruk Hai, and orc type army assembled by a dark wizard, and how the ring bearer and his companion fled to go to Mordor on their own so that they wouldn't be a danger to the rest of the Fellowship. Then two others, hobbits, were taken captive by the Uruk's and thus the remaining members, an elf and a drawf, had gone to scout while Boromir and Aragorn himself awaited their return.
Before I felt myself drifting into a slumber, I heard Aragorn ask me something in a whisper, not to wake Boromir, "Gwinneira, if you would, tell me why such things remain a mystery to you?"
I knew he had been referring to earlier that night, I had continually shown that my knowledge of the creatures he spoke of was sparse. Thus, I told him, "from living in in these parts of Middle Earth for some time, I had learned more about the creatures I had thought only to be imagined- the Great King of Winterhold had always told tales to the other children and me of the great creatures of Middle Earth; though, he always claimed that they were lore. Perhaps it was to protect us, or maybe it was simply that he figured it would be unimportant for us to learn of such things. Lord Aragorn, people from the Northern cities isolate themselves, just as they are isolated by others, I am sure you know of this... North folk keep to themselves, they do not bother to go about concerning themselves in the matters of the rest of the world unless they are in dire need of help, refuge, or if they are called upon… Alas, I am a refugee, my reasons are my own."
He gave only an understanding nod and proceeded to keep watch. Listening to the remaining embers of the fire crackle as I stared into the clouded night sky; I drifted into a sleep.
When I awoke the next morning there was a layer of fog veiling the forest. I slowly sat up, stretching my arms out. A voice startled me, causing me to realize the events of the night.
"You're awake," Boromir's voice cut through the silence.
"Indeed," I mumbled blankly; something about the man made my skin crawl. Ever since my first encounter with him I had perceived him as snide, arrogant, ambitious, corrupt... I had a keen sense for reading people, and I knew that men like him were not to be trusted.
"Where is it you are venturing to? It is unsafe for a woman such as you to be traveling alone."
My eyes narrowed slightly as I turned towards him, "I can handle myself, unless you don't recall our apparent meeting near the border of Gondor."
He opened his mouth to speak, but no words were found; a sly smile played on his lips as he softly chuckled to himself.
It was silent for a few moments as I packed my things and combed through my long brown hair, braiding the front so it set off to the side out of my face. I took notice to the absence of Aragorn, he had been far more pleasant than the steward-prince; he seemed to be more noble as well, what a shame, I thought to myself.
"I'll be taking leave now, farewell Boromir, tell Aragorn that I appreciate the hospitality you have shown me, but I must be on my way," I said slinging my pack over my shoulder.
I turned to leave but found myself face to face with Aragorn himself, "m'lady, as Boromir said it is far too dangerous for you to be out in these woods alone… There are orcs lurking near the forest, not to mention anything else that may be hidden in the shadows."
"Yes, I know of this," I spoke softly as I turned back around, "but I am heading north and you- south. I wish not to interfere with your journey to find your friends, worry not for me m' lord. I was trained by the best blacksmith in Lake Wood and have an understanding of the forests."
"Aragorn, surely we cannot let her go out there," Boromir scoffed.
"Aye, we shall. If that is what Gwinneira wants then we must respect her wishes," Aragorn stated, making Boromir's face turn to that of disbelief. I then felt Aragorn's hand upon my shoulder, "however, I would ask you to reconsider joining us- at least until we reach Rohan where we can find you a suitable escort."
I was silent a moment, but my head told me to go on my own. No matter how trustworthy Aragorn seemed the question of whether I could in fact trust him or no remained. I decided that it was in my best interest to depart, "thank you for such consideration but I do not wish to be a nuisance. Farewell, m'lords, perhaps fate will allow us to meet again," I smiled as walked away from their camp putting the hood of my cloak up.
A day had past, in the evening I had made it out of the deeper part of the woods and by dusk I could see the fields of _ through the trees. My mind was set on where I would go when I went to Lake-town, what I would tell my dear friends. However, these thoughts were clouded with worry. Worry that perhaps they wouldn't want to see me, I felt as though they may not even remember me. How would Benithir feel towards me? With my heart heavy with longing and worry, I stared deeply into the small flame I had built.
The moon shone brightly through wisps of cloud, in the distant wood I could hear wolves calling to it. I closed my eyes, taking in my surroundings. Perhaps I should have stayed with the others, helped them on their journey. Though I felt that deep inside of me that I was determined to find my dear cousin; part of me knew that the hope that remained was fading, that I had lost everything and given up that which I had begun to build once more… I was a wanderer; I had few possessions and even fewer people to rely on.
As I was so deep in thought I heard a branch near by snap. It had been a windless night, and I had not heard any creatures lurking. I unsheathed my sword slowly and stood up; examining the darkness around me. At last I heard what sounded like footsteps.
"Show yourself," I demanded strongly. I looked around cautiously, but saw nothing. Anxiety began to sink into my veins as I heard the footsteps come closer to me. I had not expected to have yet another encounter with another being so soon since the last; to me it was uncommon, especially in the wooded areas of which I traveled.
As I crouched, with my sword drawn, ready to strike any enemy I came to face, small fox poked its head from the bushes. I sighed in relief as I lowered my sword; the fox looked wounded, as it was limping on its front foot. The small creature appeared to be tame; so I called softly to it, "it's alright little fox, I will not harm you."
"I could say the same thing, little fox," a deep voice came from behind me; I gasped lightly as I was caught off guard once more. Slowly, I turned to face him and reached for my weapon once more. To my dismay my arm was grabbed by another mysterious man.
I quickly tore myself from his grasp, taking in what I could of the appearances of my attackers. They wore similar armor; leather crafted it appeared in the darkness, with light leather hoods to hide most of their features, bound gauntlets that looked excellent for picking locks; how could I have been such a fool? These men were with a guild, to be more specific... A thieves guild.
"I have no possessions of worth, nothing to steal, no coin to pocket, so please leave me alone," my voice was not pleading, but warning. Though, I would not show it, but fear filled me. The guild had quite a reputation for mischief and I had never thought I would come face to face with a few of their own. The man who had spoken before spoke once more.
"Aye lass, we don't mean to harm you. As long as you cooperate…" His eyes wandered on me, I shivered in disgust.
"You vile excuse of a man," I spat, "I will not submit to your petty will."
I reached for one of my weapons, but found the other man pushing me roughly into a tree, holding a dagger to my neck. My eyes widened as a gasped, why couldn't this pair of men been more chivalrous like Aragorn had been? Every fiber of my being regretted not going with them; this was fate's way of revealing my mistake unto me.
The man with the dagger looked hesitant as I peered into his eyes, he looked to his partner; who I assumed was of higher stature than him. "Delvin, are you sure this would be alright with Brynjolf?"
"What he won't know won't hurt him," was the simple, cold reply from the man called Delvin. He took several steps forward, I could see a smirk playing upon his lips, "now, little fox, now you must behave."
He reached out a hand, stroking my cheek and moving down my neck across my collar; I spat in his face and jolted my knee towards his groin. As he bellowed over in pain I snickered in triumph, noticing the other man tighten his grip on the dagger to my throat.
Delvin growled, "you filthy whore... Rune, give me that damned dagger," he demanded. His voice had held rage, I felt myself cringing back into the tree. Rune backed off as Delvin took hold of the steel dagger, lunging it into my shoulder with full force. I screamed loudly in pain as the cold blade pierced me, surely any creature with in the surrounding forest heard me. "How does that feel sweetheart?"
His hand then covered my mouth with his free hand, "I was going to play nice with you, but you ruined any chance of that now. When I'm through with you, you're going to wish you had never been born…."
His words were as sharp as the blade he had stuck into my flesh, I felt light headed from the pain, but I forced myself to stay conscious. I then heard something hit Delvin, he cursed in pain and turned away from me, I saw an arrow stuck into his shoulder. "How does that feel?"
This voice came from behind the trees near where we were, I turned my head to see who had come to my aid. For a moment my eyes deceived me, I swore it had been Benithir, but no- it was not so. I began to feel myself drifting out of consciousness as I slumped to the ground. Everything began to blur; I saw only silhouettes of the thieves as they fled. I had seen also, the blur of a tall, fair, blonde man- perhaps an elf, a short, stout, dwarf-looking man, and then none other than Aragorn's worried face.
Everything was muffled and blurred but I noticed he had rushed over to me, I was losing blood and had assumed that the dagger had been laced with some sort of poison; knowing the nature of thieves.
"Aragorn," I whispered.
"Don't worry m'lady, we will find you aid, I promise this," his words were kind, as was his sympathetic gaze staring into my eyes. I looked into those icy blue orbs for just one more moment, and then everything went black.
Aye, the long awaited chapter is finally here… Ugh, I do like the beginning, but honestly I disliked writing the part about the thieves guild. However, I had to get it out of the way for the next chapter to happen. I'm done crossing Skryim over into the story for a little while now, but if necessary it will tie in more later. However, the next few chapters will be purely Lord of The Rings, I promise. Please bear with how terrible this chapter was! I thank you for reading this though. Next chapter to be posted soon!