Well, here's another one of my works. Hope you guys like it!
I Do not own LOTR or any of it's characters, i just own Raven.
Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
Chapter One: The Lady Ranger
In the bustling trading town of Bree, a dark woman sat at a table in the corner of the tavern, The Prancing Pony. She sipped at her beer while quietly observing the patrons of the tavern. The woman had long coal-black hair, piercing green eyes, and an outfit that was form-fitting black leather with a black cloak. She spied a scraggly old man coming in the door. He had a grey cloak on and carried a wooden staff; she presumed it was for walking. The old man walked over to another table occupied by a mysterious hooded man. She had spied him coming into the tavern a few days before. He would always sit at the same table and every once in a while, glance in her direction. Sighing, she leaned back in her chair and set her feet up onto the table while straining to listen to their conversation. Sadly, she did not hear a word of it because when the strange man seemingly agreed to the deal, the old man got up and left the tavern briskly. So she was stuck watching the hooded man once again.
It was about a week later and the man still had not left the tavern. She was getting very suspicious of this dark man. A commotion at the front of the tavern drew her out of her thoughts. She turned her head toward the door and saw a strange sight. There were four hobbits coming into the tavern. That was strange in itself because she knew that most, if not all, hobbits despised adventure and leaving their precious Shire. The dark-haired one appeared to be their leader; he stepped up to the bar and rang the bell.
The bartender came at the ring, "Something I can do for you….?"
The Hobbit hesitated for a moment, "Underhill, room for four please."
The bartender smiled, "Certainly Mr. Underhill, I hope you find our hobbit sized rooms accommodating enough for you and your friends." He gave a key to the hobbit.
The Hobbits blended in with the bar crowd well enough; they drank at a table in the far corner. She risked a look over at the hooded man and saw that he was watching the four hobbits intently. An hour passed and now the hobbits, except Underhill, now looked more than a bit tipsy after having all that ale. One of the blond hobbits got up and went to sit at the bar. Underhill seemed to gaze at nothing in particular until she heard one of the hobbits ring out, "Baggins! Yeah he's right there, Frodo Baggins! You know..." He trailed off after that because Frodo had knocked him off the stool in a panic. Frodo had tripped on someone's boots and fell. Something shiny flew up into the air when he fell. It looked to be a ring, and in his attempt to catch it he let it slip onto his finger. Frodo disappeared instantly.
Alarmed, she got up and also noticed that the hooded man had vanished as well. She looked around franticly and saw him dragging Frodo by his collar up the stairs to the rooms. She followed quickly but silently. She got to the top of the stairs and jumped up onto a rafter above the room and listened to their conversation from above.
"Are you frightened?" She heard a raspy rugged voice ask.
"Yes," Frodo said in reply.
"Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you,"
Suddenly, the other three hobbits rushed into the room with nothing but fists and a chair, facing the tip of a sword.
"Let him go or I'll have you, Longshanks!" the blonde, and fat one exclaimed. I rolled my eyes.
"You have a stout heart, little Hobbit, but that alone won't save you," the man commented to the fat hobbit.
He stepped forward and looked down at Frodo saying, "You can no longer wait for Gandalf, Frodo. They're coming,"
He started to quickly move all four hobbits out of the room. Once he cleared the doorway, She dropped down behind him and touched her dagger to his neck and pulled back the hood. "Going somewhere?" She asked.
He put up his hands and started to speak quickly, "Yes, and if we don't get out of here quickly, we will all be dead."
She still held the dagger to his neck, "I've been watching you closely, ranger. What are you doing in my territory and taking contracts nonetheless? Contracts that should have been mine. This is the domain of the Black Raven. The Black Ranger."
He looked a bit stunned, "The Black Ranger? I thought it was only a legend, one of those stories that the older rangers told to scare the children."
She chuckled darkly, "I assure you that I am no myth. And you still didn't answer my questions. Speak, before I slit your throat."
"I am tasked with seeing these hobbits to Rivendell safely. You're welcome to come along, I could use all the help I can get." He said.
Raven thought for a moment, "Rivendell is far from here, a two week's ride." She stuck out her hand, "I'll do it. You've got yourself a partner…"
He shook her hand in return, "Strider."
"Strider. You may call me Raven. I need to gather a few things before we leave so you could meet me at the stables if you like." Raven replied.
"Not so fast. Wraiths are on their way here. We need to hide for the night and we can make for Rivendell at dawn. I'll take the hobbits to my room at the other in across the street. I've already made it look like there are sleeping people in here so the wraiths will be fooled for a time." Strider said.
Raven hung in the doorway, "Good. I'll get horses saddled up for tomorrow and you can meet me there in the morning."
Strider nodded and they parted ways for the night.
Close to midnight, the Nazgûl appeared, riding into Bree and sweeping into the Prancing Pony with their swords drawn. Not a minute later, horrible shrieks flowed from the inn as the Nazgûl realized they had been tricked.
"What are they?" Frodo asked from his place on the bed.
"They were once men," Strider answered quietly. "Great Kings of men. Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to them Nine Rings of Power. Blinded by their greed, they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness and now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgûl, Ring-wraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the Ring… drawn to the power of the One… they will never stop hunting you. You should sleep now Frodo, we have a long road ahead of us tomorrow."
We set out early the next day from the inn, for Rivendell, heading immediately into the woods and away from the roads. Raven rode on her black stallion and Strider rode on a brown mare, while the hobbits walked merrily beside them.
"Where are you taking us?" Frodo called up to Strider and Raven.
The whispering between the hobbits started as we continued. "How do we know this Strider is a friend of Gandalf? How do we know that this Black Ranger, Raven, won't kill us in our sleep? " Merry whispered suspiciously.
"We have no choice but to trust them," Frodo whispered back.
"But where are they leading us?" Sam exclaimed.
"To Rivendell," Raven called back to them, getting annoyed.
"To the house of Elrond," Strider finished.
"Did you hear that? Rivendell! We're going to see the Elves," Sam murmured excitedly. Raven kicked her horse into a gallop and rode ahead scouting the area for possible campsites to settle down for the night.
Later the next day, as we traveled along a lush green plain with tall grasses; we stopped to survey the land, when we turned back to see the hobbits all unpacking.
"Gentlemen, we do not stop until nightfall," Strider called back, causing them to look up at him in surprise.
"What about breakfast?" asked Pippin.
"You've already had it," Strider said shortly.
"We've had one, yes… but what about second Breakfast?" Pippin asked with a smile.
Raven saw Strider mount his horse and continue on, so she mounted her stallion and rode after him. He reached up as we passed under an apple tree and picked up two apples, tossing them back. Then he picked another pair and gave one to me. Raven thanked him and took a bite out of it, happy to be eating something fresh for once. He smirked at her and for the first time in years, she smiled back at him.