New Readers: I'm glad that you're interested and very honored that you're taking the time to read this fanfic, but I haven't updated for like, a year now. The story was getting out of hand, and it desperately needs a rewrite. So, that's what I'm going to do. I reread all of the chapters and am working on bettering them. Keep an eye out for "A Legend Begins", the new an awesome rewrite.

Of course, you can still read this one if you want. :)

Chapter 1: The Rider

Tomahawk whinnied, jolting me awake. I went over to soothe her, trying to see what had spooked her. Trouble for the horse was often trouble for me. I hadn't gotten into any fights lately, but I did realize that some people didn't appreciate my work. Well, who could blame them? There would always be a victim. Unfortunately for me, the victims would always be the rich and powerful.

I stood with Tommy for a good minute and, after seeing nothing, sighed and put out the smoldering coals from last night's fire. I concealed the ashes as best I could and packed up my bedroll. I ate an apple while saddling up my horse. After one last glanced at the campsite to make sure everything was in order, I pulled up the hood of my cloak and rode off. I was a few miles west of Rivendell, heading towards Bree. I tended to avoid the elves and look for work elsewhere. Honestly, they frightened me. I wasn't sure how they would respond to what I did, and that unpredictability wasn't worth the risk. Plus, they were clever; and I couldn't risk getting caught. My work generally centered on the race of men. They weren't smart enough to catch me.

I was about to try something new, though. Hobbits. I had never worked in their cities, but I thought that perhaps I wouldn't have to run there. Of course, I had no way of knowing whether or not that would happen. Not until I tried, anyway.

Tomahawk snorted and pricked her ears, slowing her pace. I pulled her to a stop and listened.

Hoof beats slowly grew louder. Someone's coming.

I urged my mount into to nearest cover and tried to hide as best as I could. An elf rider flew past carrying another passenger in front of her. Tommy and I watched until we could neither hear nor see her.

"Huh. Look at that girl. Something's up in Rivendell. That looked urgent."

I turned her around and tried to follow the rider, but she protested. She pulled on the reins and tried to head west again, as if saying "no, Zella. Don't do it." Of course, I didn't listen to her. Curse me and my knack for getting into trouble.

We set off at a nice easy trot as I tried to justify going to an Elvin city.

"It's simple, really." I spoke aloud to the horse, trying to come off as confident when actually I was terrified. I wasn't entirely sure why, but something about elves really set me on edge.

"That looked important, and if there's some new news, we should get it. Can't be too careful now, can we?" I gulped and slowed our pace a bit, dreading what I was doing. T

he decision has been made. Follow through. I took a few breaths, summoned my courage, and sped onward. The wind ruffled my hood and chilled my face. I pulled the cloak around tighter and encouraged Tomahawk into full speed. As I rode, I formulated and plan. I would sneak around the city, pretending to be a lost young girl if I ever got caught. Elves understand stuff like that, right? At least, that's what I thought.

I pushed the fears aside and cleared my head in an attempt to focus. I would leave my horse a little ways outside of the city. Her vibrant red and white coat was too recognizable. Someone would figure out who I was, and I couldn't let that happen. I could never let that happen. I would pick up gossip. That's the best way to get any information. I would figure out what, if anything, was going on and sneak out at night fall. Then I would head to Bree like planned.

"Alright. No big deal. I got this."