A PAINFUL MEETING
Morning of November 8, 3019
Frodo portrayed by Hobbitness
Lilandra portrayed by FreeFall
Narrator and Aldir portrayed by Wraith
Frodo: *The night of November
7 passed fitfully for Frodo. He knew that Vardamir and Aldir
were attempting to rescue Ceolwulf, but he could not tell the
outcome. They were too far away for him to sense them through
Frodo: *His own worry drummed in his head along with that of Lilandra, who had been distraught ever since they learned that Vartang had sent out a search party to hunt Vardamir*
Frodo: *Vardamir and Ceolwulf planned to flee over the mountains, but Aldir planned to return to the city. How would he manage it with so many guards watching and a garrison out searching for runaways?*
Frodo: *Frodo slept lightly, waking up often, and dreaming of many possible outcomes, most of them dark.*
Frodo: *At dawn, he wakes suddenly from a feeling of pain--but it is not his own pain. He can sense Aldir through the ring again! At first, Frodo's heart pounds wildly in fear for Aldir's life, but then he realizes his wound has been treated and he is recovering.*
Frodo: *Frodo gives Aldir and Lilandra some time alone together. But at 9 am, Frodo can no longer bear the suspense, so he goes to their room and knocks softly on the door.*
Lilandra: *Lilandra decided to stay with Aldir even as he slept. She stayed with him to make sure he was all right and to be there in case he woke up and needed something. She kept looking under the blanket to make sure the wound had not soaked through the nightshirt and then pulled the covers tightly over him to his neck and stroked his forehead as she stayed by him on the bed. She heard the knock and as always her heartbeat accelerated and she got up and moved to the door.* yes?
Frodo: It's Frodo! I've come to check on Aldir *grins broadly now that Aldir is actually in there*
Lilandra: *she felt the wash of relief over her as she heard his voice and opened the door and let him in, closing it behind him* Hello Frodo
Frodo: Hello! *he hurries into the room and peers at Aldir in the bed, sighing with relief when he sees that Aldir's color is good and he is sleeping peacefully*
Lilandra: *she smiles to him and places her hand on his shoulder*
Frodo: *covers her hand with his* How is he doing?
Lilandra: He needs his rest. He is wounded *she shakes her head* and he tried to hide it from me....as if he could *she laughs lightly* i have not seen it...he changed the bandage himself..and it seems all right for now
Lilandra: i will change it for him later and get a look at it
Frodo: That's good, that's very good
Frodo: How in the Shire did he manage to get back here with the *lowers his voice* guards and the search and all? It's a marvel!
Aldir: *Aldir stirs in his sleep*
Lilandra: oh Frodo..there is much i do not know i am sure...he likes to spare me details
Aldir: *"Sound the retreat! They are inside the walls! The Citadel has fallen!" The man beside him is felled by an arrow in his neck.*
Frodo: *looks toward the bed* Did he say anything of what happened?
Lilandra: Ceolwulf and Vardamir are on their way to freedom *she places sighs as she looks to him* Vardamir was unhurt. Ceolwulf..only what his guards did to him
Aldir: *"Form a line!" The men slowly back down the hill, fighting as they go. He hears screams all around him. His men fall beside him.*
Frodo: *sighs with relief...then quietly* What did they do to him? *hopes they did no more than what he sensed*
Lilandra: He did not say in detail what his wounds were
Aldir: *he groans in his sleep*
Lilandra: *her head turns towards the bed. she leaves Frodo's side and moves over to the bed*
Frodo: *moves to the foot of the bed to watch*
Aldir: *Then through a misty veil of snow, the orc is upon him once again, its yellow eyes gleaming, its fangs bared as it raises its dagger.*
Lilandra: *she only looks down to him..she sees his eyes moving fast under the lids*
Aldir: * He feels the pain as the knife cuts through his side. "No, no!" He is lying before a campfire, dying. "Lilandra!" he moans and reaches out his arms for her....and wakes up, gasping for breath.*
Frodo: *takes a few steps back to give them privacy*
Lilandra: *she bends at the waist and moves into his outreached arms* i am here Aldir
Aldir: Lilandra *he says groggily*
Frodo: *His brow furrows as he wonders what Aldir was dreaming*
Lilandra: *she presses her cheek against his forehead* I'm here *she whispers*
Aldir: *he reaches out and grasps her arm tightly* Did you see it? It was right here in the room. A huge monstrous beast!
Aldir: *Still in a half-dream state, his eyes look around the room wildly*
Lilandra: *she nestles into him more and closes her eyes* no my love..no...you were dreaming
Frodo: *moves to the other side of the room and sits on a chair by the window. He pushes the curtain aside a little to look out at the city*
Lilandra: *she lifts her face and looks into his eyes* you are safe now
Aldir: Lilandra *he looks at her* Then it was only a dream
Lilandra: *she smiles tenderly to him* yes, and you have a visitor
Aldir: *he cranes his neck to the side and sees Frodo at the window*
Frodo: *turns back from the window and smiles to Aldir*
Aldir: Frodo.. *he says*
Frodo: Yes, it's me. How are you feeling, my friend?
Aldir: *He releases his hold on Lilandra's arm and pushes himself up into a sitting position on the bed*
Frodo: *slides off his seat and walks up to the bed*
Lilandra: *she places her hand on his back, aiding him to sit up*
Aldir: I feel as though an avalanche had rolled down a mountain and crushed me across the middle
Lilandra: *her brows furrow*
Frodo: *raises his eyebrows* Goodness! Lilandra, has he had any medicine? There must be some of my old medicine somewhere around here.
Aldir: I do not want a physician *Aldir says and looks to Lilandra*
Lilandra: *looks to Aldir*
Aldir: Do you not think that Sador is in the employ of Vartang?
Frodo: *nods* We must conceal your wound, unfortunately...you are supposed to be sick, not wounded. But that doesn't mean we can't find a way to treat it
Frodo: Do you have any experience tending wounds, Lilandra?
Aldir: It has been treated. Vardamir sewed it, and the stitches will hold well enough
Frodo: oh that is good, thank the Valar for Vardamir
Aldir: And his stitching, bungling though he is *he manages a laugh*
Lilandra: *she smiles and smoothes her hand over his back* i know enough to change his bandages
Aldir: The bandages are still clean, I think
Lilandra: last i checked, the bandage was alright love
Frodo: But if you're in that much pain, we should find some pain medicine.
Aldir: The pain, I can bear that
Frodo: *Frodo grew used to taking care of his servants in Nurn, and now it comes as second nature* Well, I will talk to Finduilas about it later then, secretly of course
Aldir: Master Frodo, do not worry. I shall live. I shall try to be up by evening
Frodo: Don't push yourself! You must have had quite an ordeal
Lilandra: yes Aldir..as Frodo says..you should rest
Frodo: How did you ever manage to get back?
Aldir: I got back by the aid of a good horse, a horse I would like to have kept, but which I could not bring back
Aldir: All must think that the horse was stolen by Vardamir and by now, the horse must be far from here
Frodo: *nods* I will say that
Aldir: The only things that might arouse suspicion are my bloodied cape and my soiled bandage beneath the bed
Aldir: *he looks to Lilandra* You must burn them as soon as possible, but no one must see this
Lilandra: yes they need to be burned. i will see it is done my love...no eyes will see
Aldir: Now, Master Frodo, if I can remember, Ceolwulf had a message for you, but there was no parchment on which to write it
Frodo: *gasps softly* He did?
Lilandra: *she smiles gently to Frodo*
Aldir: *He closes his eyes and concentrates on remembering the message that he has memorized*
Frodo: *leans forward and holds his breath, listening*
Aldir: "May the spirit of my horse that mayhaps dwells in the statue that I carved live within your heart and guide you someday to freedom. And if Elfhild comes back, tell her that I love her."
Aldir: *He opens his eyes* And that was all that he said
Frodo: *Frodo is silent, absorbing the message, trying to memorize it, and imagining how Ceolwulf would have said it*
Aldir: *he lies back against the headboard*
Frodo: *finally he smiles sadly* Thank you so much
Lilandra: *her heart breaks a bit at the message and she runs her fingertips down his cheek*
Aldir: We did not have ink, quill, nor parchment
Frodo: It sounds like him...I think you remembered it well
Frodo: Thank you for rescuing him
Aldir: In the army, we had to learn to memorize messages
Lilandra: *she fills with pride as she looks to her husband*
Aldir: *he moves his left hand down the cover and rests it upon the wound in his side*
Frodo: I am ever indebted to you and Vardamir.
Aldir: They pressed us hard there for a while and it did not look good and I would not be here today, had it not been for the skill and swiftness of Vardamir's blade
Frodo: How many were there?
Aldir: Ten, eleven I think
Lilandra: *she closes her eyes, her mind filling with horrible images*
Frodo: Two against eleven!
Lilandra: I wish i could thank Vardamir
Frodo: So do I
Aldir: My sword *he says suddenly and looks around the room*
Lilandra: it is here love..shall i get it?
Aldir: Yes *he says* my hand longs to touch its hilt. It should be cleaned, and cleaned soon
Frodo: *frowns worriedly, remembering Ceolwulf's fey look as he contemplated his own sword when he planned to go to Minas Morgul*
Aldir: I had neither time nor strength left to clean it last night
Lilandra: *she stares at him a moment then gets up and moves over to the other side of the bed and reaches down where he shed it fast, so as to clean his wound in a hurry while she was out of the room. she picks it up and moves back over to him and reaches it out to him hesitantly*
Aldir: *his hand goes out to take the hilt*
Lilandra: *her eyes focus on his face as he does so*
Aldir: *He holds it the air above him and looks at it* It is a fine sword. It cuts quick and it cuts well, and when it is grasped in anger and rage, it glows with a fell red light
Lilandra: *she looks over slowly at the entirety of the sword*
Frodo: *Noticing the runes on the sword, he remembers their translation: "He who wields this sword serves Mordor." How strange that it has been used to thwart Mordor's purposes...or could even this rescue, which has seemed to turn out better than he hoped, be turned to evil?**
Aldir: It was a gift... Aye *he says and looks at it again* a gift.... and a curse
Frodo: A curse...why a curse? It served you well
Aldir: *He senses a thought from somewhere in the room... but how could this be? He thinks*
Aldir: A curse? It is a curse, because while it gives the wielder great might, it burns the hand
Frodo: *His frown deepens*
Frodo: It burned your hand?
Aldir: Aye, and it still burns *he puts the sword across his chest and holds the hilt*
Frodo: Do not hold it then!
Lilandra: *she gazes over to Frodo*
Aldir: But my hand yearns to hold the blade and it yearns for me to take it once again. Perhaps someday I will *he sighs*
Lilandra: *her expression is one of concern*
Frodo: The same madness came upon Ceolwulf when he first took up his own cursed sword
Frodo: That was when this all started!
Frodo: These swords are dangerous, Aldir
Lilandra: *she feels her chest tighten as her heart pounds more*
Aldir: Perhaps it is not accursed *he says and frowns*
Frodo: Remember where they come from!
Lilandra: *Frodo intensifies her worry with his words*
Aldir: Surely, Master Frodo, you do not think that a sword has an allegiance to anything. It is forged of metal and cannot think!
Frodo: Not an ordinary sword, no, but that one is from Minas Morgul. There could be spells laid on it.
Aldir: It is only a.....*he looks down at the sword on his chest* a very good sword
Lilandra: *she swallows hard as she looks between the two*
Aldir: And it has.... served me well
Frodo: *remembers vividly his attachment to the One Ring, and how it grew impossible to take it from him, how he still feels a gaping hole from Its absence, though he speaks of it to no one and tries to deny it to himself*
Lilandra: *She wanted badly to take it from his grasp but she felt she knew he would protest*
Aldir: *he frowns again and his brow furrows* I do not care where the sword came from. I only care that it is mine!
Frodo: Well...let us put the sword aside for now, to clean it.
Lilandra: *now her fear elevates more at Aldir's intensity*
Aldir: Perhaps I should get up and clean it myself *he says, a note of irritation rising in his voice*
Frodo: *exchanges worried looks with Lilandra, his lips pressed in a thin line*
Lilandra: *she trembles and places her hand to her mouth*
Aldir: *He throws the cover away from him and pulls himself over to the side of the bed, the sword still held in his hands*
Frodo: *This is exactly how It worked...It crept into your mind when you did not even know it, when you thought you could resist It...then, you found that you could not live without It*
Lilandra: Aldir....what are you doing? You can do this later...rest now please
Aldir: *He sits, his legs over the side of the bed, and looks down at the sword* Lilandra, bring me a rag
Aldir: Lilandra *he says, irritated* Can you not see the stain on the sword?
Lilandra: *she looks down and then moves over to the table and sighs and retrieve a rag for him and walks slowly back and hands it to him*
Aldir: *he takes the rag from her hand and slowly, lovingly, begins cleaning the blade*
Lilandra: *a whole new fear enters her...never could she be at peace...and now of all times....the dread crept into her once again*
Aldir: Later, Lilandra, rub it with sand to get out the stains the rag cannot touch
Lilandra: *she nods to him*
Frodo: *I should have known. I should have known that never would they let anything turn out well for me or those around me*
Frodo: *he looks down, then closes his eyes and sighs*
Aldir: *he wipes both sides of the blade, and then pleased with his result, he moves out of the bed, goes over to the sword sheath hanging from a peg on the wall and then puts the sword in the sheath*
Aldir: *he turns back to them* 'Tis a good sword, a very good sword
Lilandra: *she gnaws the inside of her cheek and watches him*
Lilandra: Come on Aldir...lay back down
Aldir: *he looks back at the sword, now feeling fatigued at the exertion of walking across the room*
Lilandra: *walks over to him and places her hand on his chest*
Aldir: *he sighs* Ah well. A little rest would not hurt me
Frodo: *opens his eyes, relieved*
Aldir: *with one reluctant look, his eyes leave the sword and turn to his wife*
Lilandra: *she smiles sadly to him* come on...*she leads him back over to the bed*
Aldir: *He sits down on the edge of the bed and then swings his feet into the bed. He sits with his back against the headboard and pulls the covers up to his lap*
Lilandra: *Lilandra was very disturbed by the scene she just beheld and sat next to him once again and held his hand*
Aldir: *He looks from Lilandra to Frodo* Are there any other things that I should know about that happened in my absence?
Frodo: A search party was sent out for Vardamir
Lilandra: *she nods* yes i told him that
Aldir: Yes, Lilandra told me and I believe I must have seen them on my way here. It must have been their camp that I passed earlier this morning
Frodo: That was a close call, then! Though they were looking for Vardamir, not you
Frodo: And...and they are still...looking for Vardamir...*trails off*
Aldir: The camp was far from the road and there was a great glow of flames and a howling of dogs
Frodo: *his eyes widen as he realizes the possibility of Vardamir and Ceolwulf being found*
Frodo: How close were they to Vardamir and Ceolwulf?
Aldir: I would estimate that they were ten miles from Osgiliath
Frodo: Do you think they will find them?
Aldir: But Vardamir and Ceolwulf had a good start upon them and there was more snow during the night that should hide their trail
Frodo: Ah, good
Aldir: The horses Vardamir took are swift and sure of foot and will carry them well
Frodo: So they are safely on their way then
Frodo: They should be far from here by now *looks to the window*
Lilandra: *she sighs...still dwelling on Aldir's state when holding the sword*
Aldir: Yes, I believe that the plan has been successful
Frodo: That is good, very good...it has all turned out very well *but he finds his eyes filling and overflowing suddenly. He wipes at them and sniffs*
Aldir: And if all goes well for us, all will think that Vardamir is a slave and a horse thief who could bear his slavery no longer and fled
Frodo: *nods and smiles weakly*
Aldir: But inevitably, they will discover that Ceolwulf has been rescued
Lilandra: *she looks off to the side, their voices fading in her ears as her mind drifts to other thoughts*
Frodo: At least he will be even farther away by then *wipes again at the tears that continue to spill down his face against his will*
Aldir: We must be very careful in all that we say and do. The only ones who know are you, Master Frodo, Lilandra and I, besides our two friends
Frodo: Finduilas knows as well. Doesn't she, Lilandra?
Lilandra: huh? *looks to Frodo* oh yes...yes she does
Aldir: *He looks to Lilandra with a questioning look on his face*
Aldir: The more that know, the more lips there are that can slip!
Lilandra: *she looks nervously to Frodo* Frodo...was worried about me
Aldir: Then only the four of us know of the rescue
Frodo: *rubs his hands over his face...he must compose himself.* Finduilas is trustworthy, Aldir. We have nothing to fear from her
Aldir: I was very careful in coming back
Lilandra: And we have been around here as well
Aldir: When I was challenged at the main gates of the city, I bluffed my way through and told the guards that I had returned from Newburg, and considering the orc draught that I poured over myself before I entered the city, they believed me well enough that I had been long in the taverns
Lilandra: Your mission was so very dangerous love
Frodo: *tries to listen to Aldir, nods at everything he says*
Aldir: Aye, it was, but... *a faraway look comes to his eyes* too, it was a grand adventure *but his mind is filling with the growing realization that he has really lost Ceolwulf and, just as when he came to Nurn from Lugburz, has no close friends in the world anymore*
Lilandra: *studies his face..knowing he loved the excitement of the freedom he had briefly*
Frodo: *The sight of Aldir and Lilandra reunited only makes this harder to bear*
Aldir: But the adventure is over now.... and perhaps.... it is my last one
Frodo: *though he is happy for them...he wishes he were able to be happier*
Lilandra: *she notices the bit of sadness in his voice and looks down. she shuts her eyes tightly and presses her lips together*
Aldir: *he looks at her and smiles* Ah, but love, being married to you is quite enough adventure for any man
Lilandra: *she looks up to him and smiles and strokes his face*
Aldir: *he laughs again, remembering the night's adventure* And would you not know it? When I was but a short space from the house, I almost fell out of a tree
Lilandra: *she tilts her head at him*
Frodo: *forced laugh* It is a good thing you did not
Aldir: *He looks at Lilandra* Had you forgotten how I climbed the trees in our apple orchard and picked the apples? And tossed them down to you so they would not bruise in falling?
Lilandra: *she smiles warmly* oh Aldir...yes i remember *she laughs to herself as she thought of looking at him high up in the tree*
Lilandra: i was always concerned that you might fall
Aldir: *he laughs again* And possibly I was too
Lilandra: i got nervous at ever creak and crackle i heard *squeezes his hand*
Aldir: The gate through which Vardamir and I left was locked and I did not have the means nor the skill to pick the lock, so I climbed the tree to the top of the wall and let myself down over the side
Frodo: *They seem to have forgotten he is there, so he returns to the window and peers out again. It is a relief, because his back is turned to them, so he does not have to hide his sadness*
Aldir: *He looks to Lilandra sadly* I am sorry about the handkerchief
Lilandra: *she places her hands on either side of his face* Oh Aldir..do not not worry..it was a keepsake for your journey. you have me now and every strand of hair on my head
Aldir: *then he says quietly* Master Frodo, I am afraid the parchment you made was destroyed
Aldir: *he puts his hands up on hers and looks into her eyes* The handkerchief was a comfort to me. It was a reminder to me of you
Lilandra: then is served its purpose
Frodo: *whirls around* What! Ceolwulf's parchment was destroyed?
Aldir: Nay, Master Frodo, the parchment you gave me was destroyed
Frodo: Oh...oh, well....I'm sorry to hear that
Frodo: He got his parchment then?
Aldir: Yes, I gave it to him, but the one that you made for me was in my tunic, and now there are only shreds of it left
Frodo: I will most likely have time to make you another
Aldir: That would be good, Master Frodo *he says as he leans back against the headboard, a tired look on his face*
Lilandra: *she thinks only of a blade stabbing into him at this mention*
Frodo: I shall make another then *turns back to the window*
Aldir: By this time, our friends must be far to the north, and they must face the cold while I have the safety and protection of this house
Lilandra: *she takes the covers and looks under them to his nightshirt, making sure it is still clean, seeing that it is, she pulls the blanket up over him more*
Frodo: *suddenly bursts into tears, but keeps as quiet as he can, hiding his face with the curtain.*
Lilandra: it was Vardamir's choice love
Aldir: Lilandra, you are a good nurse
Lilandra: *she smiles* thank you Aldir
Aldir: And my choice to follow him
Lilandra: *nods* yes
Aldir: And I told you that I would return, and I have lived up to my words
Lilandra: *she frowns a bit*
Aldir: *he cranes his neck and looks over to Frodo at the window and senses a deep sadness coming from that direction of the room*
Lilandra: *she feels a heaviness in her heart at the thought he might be having regrets of coming back to her and she feels guilty as well*
Aldir: *he reaches out his thoughts to Frodo's direction. What is wrong?*
Frodo: *Frodo starts, surprised that Aldir would ask what was troubling him*
Aldir: *While Frodo is sad, Aldir rejoices that his friends are no longer slaves, but have escaped into freedom, and that he is back safe, once again with his wife*
Frodo: *Frodo replies in thought to Aldir: Ceolwulf...he is gone. It is better this way, but he was like a brother to me.*
Aldir: *Aldir replies in thought... but he is free! They are both free*
Frodo: *Yes, at least they are free*
Aldir: *Still in thought... They would have taken death over slavery. Think of Ceolwulf and Vardamir riding free on two good horses and supplies enough to last them for a while*
Frodo: *Frodo tries to hide his thoughts from Aldir, for he is thinking: But Ceolwulf was happy in Nurn! Yes, it is good that they are free, but now I have no one*
Aldir: *Still in thought, he says... If you would be sad, then be sad for us, for we still remain in bondage*
Frodo: *Would you escape with Lilandra...?*
Aldir: *Then his mind seeks to flee Frodo's thoughts and tries to find a hidden spot in his mind and throw up a barrier between*
Frodo: *Should they? Should I help them? he thinks to himself*
Lilandra: *there is silence for a long time in the room and she thinks they are all just lost in their own thoughts*
Aldir: *His mind slips into a secret corner that his thoughts go, where his mind retreats and he tries to form a barrier between him and Frodo*
Frodo: *Frodo tries to take Aldir's advice and visualize Ceolwulf and Vardamir galloping to freedom*
Frodo: *Yes, perhaps it is better. Besides, I gave up my chance for a future at the Council of Elrond, long ago. I should no longer expect to be happy. I am in Mordor's hands and they ever seek to take their vengeance on me.*
Aldir: *He looks to his wife* My stomach is better now and perhaps I could take a little wine. I do not remember when I last ate, but that does not matter
Lilandra: *she smiles, hearing he feels better and sorry for not asking him if he wanted anything* darling should i get you something to eat? or just wine?
Aldir: A little wine mixed with water, perhaps
Frodo: They should be preparing breakfast by now. We can get you something.
Aldir: *A look of concern comes over his face and he touches her arm* Will they not miss you in the kitchen if you do not go now?
Lilandra: *she thinks* i suppose i can just tell Finduilas what has come about later..and if anyone else should ask i could just say you needed tending to so i stayed with you a while longer
Lilandra: *she gets up off of the bed and moves over to the table and takes up the bottle of wine she brought in earlier and fills the goblet and takes the pitcher and pours some water into the goblet as well and swirls the goblet in her hand. She goes back over to him and extends it to him* here you are my love
Aldir: *He takes the goblet from her hand* Thank you
Frodo: Well, do you need anything? Unless there's something I can do, I'd best be letting you have your room back
Aldir: *he takes a drink from the goblet* If anyone asks what is wrong with me, tell them I have the pox and then none will come near me!
Aldir: And Master Frodo, it would be best if you tell them that you have already had the pox *he chuckles*
Frodo: *laughs again* Yes, yes I think I will, otherwise I would cause quite a scare
Lilandra: Frodo... *she walks over to him and bends to one knee in front of him* Thank you for your support and concern while my husband was away
Frodo: *smiles* You are welcome...it was the least I could do
Lilandra: *places her hand on his shoulder* i know your heart weighs heavy with sadness. perhaps one day still you will find happiness
Frodo: *his lip starts trembling again; he bites it*
Lilandra: perhaps one day we all shall *she smiles lightly to him and looks over to Aldir*
Aldir: *he drinks his wine slowly, grateful for the warmth it gives from the chill of the room*
Lilandra: *eyes back to Frodo's* but i will never forget your kindness
Lilandra: i have.... allowed myself to see more in you
Frodo: *A genuine smile lights up his face*
Lilandra: you have friends here yet
Frodo: Thank you *he whispers*
Aldir: Aye, Master Frodo, friends yet *he says as he drinks slowly from the goblet of wine*
Lilandra: *somewhere deep inside her scolds her for this open emotion. she does not listen to this voice now and she squeezes Frodo's shoulders affectionately*
Frodo: *Very surprised by their words, but pleasantly surprised, he looks between them and replies* So do you!
Lilandra: *she stands slowly and moves back over to Aldir's side*
Aldir: *He looks to Frodo* Thank you for.... all your help, Master Frodo. You could have just as well raised an alarm for indeed we still are your slaves
Frodo: Oh, I would never have done that! That would have been horrible of me. And I do not think of you that way.
Frodo: Thank you, for risking your life for Ceolwulf, and for coming back safely.
Aldir: Ceolwulf is of Rohan and they are an ally *he looks at Lilandra* of our country! And Rohan has come to the aid of Gondor often enough
Lilandra: *she smiles to him and interlocks her fingers with his*
Frodo: Still, it was a brave and commendable act.
Frodo: *He smiles to them and moves toward the door* Sleep well, and call me if you need anything.
Aldir: Thank you, Master Frodo. Perhaps we will
Frodo: *Frodo slips quietly out of the room, grateful for their warm words. He begins to hope that they are right; perhaps there will be new friendships to fill the hole of Ceolwulf's loss.*
Frodo: *But it seems that whenever he becomes attached to someone, they are torn from him, as though his captors are ever waiting for the most painful moment.*
Frodo: *In Lugburz, when he and Sam had managed to regain some hope even though Sam was a wraith, Sauron deprived Sam of his thought and will.*
Frodo: *After Frodo had become attached to Ceolwulf, Elfhild and Elffled in Nurn, they were taken away too.*
Frodo: *Should he let himself make new friends? Is it worth the risk? But isn't it what he wants, after all? What they all want? Well, it is better than the alternative of being alone.*
Frodo: *Frodo decides to make the best of their situation, to keep trying to turn this group of exiles into a family.*
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