Why One Should Not Stray Close to Dol Guldur|
Why did Gandalf leave me alone in this forest? It was not the first time the young ranger had wondered about the Wizard’s sudden departure. While he had had no trouble finding the place that Gandalf had told him to wait at… on the side of a hill in the forest, there had been no sign of Gandalf for days.
Aragorn gave the bag that held a smaller creature in it with some distaste. His dislike of the foul creature within was testing his patience by now. Ever since entering the forest, the creature had been hissing at him, quite loudly from in the bag. For a ranger who was used to being able to move without being noticed, Gollum’s constant noise was getting extremely annoying.
He would be glad when the creature was no longer under his hands. Aragorn had been in this forest for over a week now, and he had the feeling that he had gone the wrong way, even though he had come through here with Legolas once.
Finding the way to the Elven-King’s halls was harder than Aragorn had thought it would be. Gandalf shouldn’t have left me to find my way in this forest alone. Aragorn knew that the wizard had thought him capable of making his way there, but this forest was not known to him. Aragorn did not know the safe routes through this forest. When he and Legolas had crossed through it, Legolas had taken him up into the trees, where the silvan elves of the forest were used to moving about.
Having Gollum with him had made that impossible, as he couldn’t climb with only one hand. Not to mention when he was travelling Gollum had been struggling a lot, annoying his horse as well.
“If you don’t stop squirming, Gollum, I will tie you up,” he warned. The pale eyes, that seemed huge in the sunken face, glared at him hatefully. Gollum did however cease his squirming, which was a small relief for Aragorn. Only Gollum’s head was able to be seen out of the bag, as they hadn’t wanted him taking any chances to escape on them while they slept.
Picking up the bag once more, Aragon attached it to his horse, before springing up into the saddle. He had to be close to the Elven-King’s halls by now. Aragorn knew he had no more pity for this creature, which had been so hard to capture.
Soon he will be out of my hands at least. That was something he was looking forward to. Once Gollum was with the wood-elves, he would be causing no more mischief for a long time. They wouldn’t let him get away, and there was little that ever caught these elves unawares.
I wonder why I have seen none of the elves here. By now, he should have been stopped by then at least once. Or at least he should have been aware than someone was following him, even if they remained unseen. He looked down at Gollum. I’ll bet you have plenty of unfriendly friends around in these trees. You certainly led us on quite the chase.
He continued on, heading in the direction he had been going. The forest all seemed the same, trees bent into strange shapes by the shadows pressing down upon them. This forest was still strange to him, despite his previous journeys near it.
They were aware that something was disturbing the trees. That there was something in the forest that did not belong. Legolas had sent a scout out to find out who it was, while they were resting and eating some lunch. He’d been out on patrol for several weeks, though he’d only returned home once more a few days before setting out again.
Soon he saw the scout coming back to him, and he knew they would have found out what was causing unrest in their home.
“There is a man in the woods, a mortal man. Alone aside from a strange creature which I could only see the head of…. And his horse,” the elf said. “However… they are not in a safe place, close to the old fortress actually.”
The Necromancer’s fortress? Legolas knew, as did his father that Sauron had been sent away from that fortress. Even so, they still encountered orcs in the woods from time to time. Orcs that were quickly disposed of, before they could be a threat when they stepped outside the fortress walls.
I do not know who this man is, or what the creature is that he brings into our forest uninvited.
“We should find out who it is, not to mention get them out of this forest, as they do not belong,” Legolas replied. He looked at the scout. “Did they see you?”
The elf shook his head.
“No, I stayed up in the canopy, where he would not be able to spot me. Whoever they are, they seemed to be lost in the forest.”
Legolas shook his head. Very soon, they would get to the bottom of who this strange was. It would not take them too long to find him, even if he was a little outside the borders of their lands. I will deal with Adar later.
“We move then!”
A twig snapped under a heavy boot, and Aragorn spun around, groaning as he saw the orcs surging toward him. Where did they come from? He had not known there were orcs nearby, so these must have known how to throw off a Dúnedain. Something kept them hidden from me, and now I cannot allow them to get their hands on Gollum. Gollum who was once more baring his teeth and hissing.
“Let me free! Let me free!”
Aragorn cursed. “Be quiet Gollum!”
Now the orcs would know that he had him, and there was no way he would get out of a fight now. Sighing, Aragorn drew his sword, ready to fight. I cannot allow them to get to Gollum!
Aragorn chose to fight near his horse, though he knew he was greatly outnumbered by the orcs pouring into the clearing. Gollum’s words were alerting anything close by that he was there, and there was little Aragorn could do to silence him when he had to fight for his own life.
Orc after orc he slew, but as they kept coming, Aragorn began to tire. Just as he was starting to think this was a fight he couldn’t win, as another orc came toward him, arrows shot from the trees, skewering the orcs near him.
While a number of them, enough to still overpower him stayed where they were in the clearing, Aragorn saw the rest of them fleeing, and caught a glimpse of several elves going after them, while others dropped down to the forest floor to fight, including one familiar looking golden haired ellon.
Aragorn had the sense to stay near his horse, and not try and continue fighting now, now that there were elves raining arrows at the orcs. If he moved too much, there was a chance an orc might slip by and take Gollum from him, and that also was something he could not allow.
The fighting was over swiftly. Legolas gave a few commands to the elves who were with him, and they scattered up into the trees above. That left only Legolas, Aragorn, a hissing teeth-baring Gollum and Aragorn’s mount below.
“Mae govannen, Legolas,” Aragorn said, smiling at the blond haired ellon. His friend, whom he’d met some time ago now.
“Mae govannen, Estel,” Legolas replied. “What are you doing in this forest on your own? I dread to think what might have happened had we not arrived when we did.”
“So do I actually, and originally I would not have been alone. I was travelling with Gandalf, but something called him away and I had to continue on alone, for the past week or so.”
Legolas raised an eyebrow. “Mithrandir left you to continue alone into my forest. You could have been killed. Though why are you hear anyway… and what is that thing? Looks almost like a goblin, seems to act like one too.”
This caused a round of loud hissing and cursing from Gollum at being called a goblin.
“What… Gollum? I don’t know what he is but not a goblin at least. I know that he is cunning, and that he does not like to cooperate. We hunted him down, and Gandalf bade me bring him to your home to be kept out of the way for a while, and hopefully see him return to what he used to be.”
Legolas shook his head.
“I cannot understand why Mithrandir would think such a thing possible, but I suppose I cannot argue with him. We will take this creature into our halls, for now. You should come too, and rest a while before you head off again, mellon-nin.”
Aragorn nodded. “That sounds like a good idea. I will leave again in a few days, there are other places I am needed.”
Legolas smiled slightly. “You’ve ended up quite close to Dol Guldor, and that is an evil place, even if Sauron is no longer there. We were unaware that it was he who was hiding there, but we are glad he is gone once more.”
Aragorn raised an eyebrow.
“He was here?”
Legolas nodded. “Before the dwarves reclaimed Erebor yes. No one dares stray too close to that fortress, even so, for the place is overrun with orcs and spiders and other foul things. Something to keep in mind, mellon-nin.”
Aragorn nodded, flushing a little.
“I will keep your warning in mind. I must have gotten lost in the forest, even though I have been in here before.”
He did not like to admit that he, a Ranger, one of the Dúnedain, had gotten lost. It was something that his people did not do. Embarrassing, considering all the wandering he had done over the years.