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Thread: The Adventures of Bilbo and Itaril

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Chapter 1

The choppy waves sprayed a salty mist over the side of the ship. The sun climbed higher as the red tint of dawn gave way to a crisp clear day. The wind was cold and sharp in the younger Hobbit’s face.

Tears stung his eyes. He peered back towards the horizon of the Rising Sun. He was traveling the path of Earendil for the first time in his life. This thought comforted him a little, as he had often longed to traverse the seas.

But his ebullience was cut with the pangs of longing for the Shire and the shores of Middle Earth which he would never see again. They had slipped beyond the horizon before nightfall the previous eve, and land was no longer visible. All about him was Blue water and Clear sky.

He felt an arm clasp his shoulders; he was no longer alone. The Younger smiled with his glistening eyes at the Elder stooped beside him.

“I didn’t hear you sneaking up behind me Uncle,” he laughed sadly.
“This brisk Sea Air has given me back my legs already,” replied the Elder cheerily. He looked at the Younger with concern.
“Are those tears Frodo?”

“N…no…,” stammered Frodo. “Just a splash of sea water Uncle Bilbo.”
“It’s alright, my boy. Let it out. There will be time for Joy soon enough. For now, let your grief flow.”

And the tears streamed down Frodo’s cheeks unabated.
“I miss the Shire already Uncle. I didn’t really fit in there any longer, but I feel as if I have left half of me behind.”
“Ah, that is as it should be Lad. You wouldn’t be alive if you didn’t feel that way,” Bilbo smiled kindly at Frodo.

“Thank you Uncle Bilbo.” Frodo wrapped his arms tightly around the wizened Old Halfling smiling wetly. “I feel better already.”
“Of course you do Frodo.” After a moment they fell apart.

Bilbo had a sparkle in his eye, and a single tear trickled from the corner.
“What is it Uncle?” There was something odd about Bilbo’s look.

“Frodo…my boy…I…I have something to tell you that I’ve wanted to say for a very, very long time. And when I’ve finished, you may not want to call me ‘Uncle’ any longer.”
“Don’t be silly Uncle. There’s nothing you can tell me that could diminish my love for you.” He peered quizzically at Bilbo.

“Frodo, I’m going to tell you a story that I’ve never told anyone…noone…only one other knows for certain (though others no doubt suspect)—and I hope to see her again in Valinor.”
“Uncle,” Frodo was beginning to feel alarmed, and very puzzled. “What do you mean? Who are you expecting to see in Valinor?”
“I…I…I probably should start at the beginning my dear, dear boy.” And for some reason Bilbo turned very red-faced.

“Come Frodo. Let us sit, I may be feeling spryer than I have in ages, but this is a long tale and it—you—deserve a proper telling.”

[b:2hkb03aq]GB[/b:2hkb03aq]
"Alright, Uncle. Let's sit on the poop."
Once they were settled, Bilbo began. "Now what I'm about to tell you may shock you at first, but in the end I hope you'll be glad, for while it begins with me, quite pleasantly thank you very much, it ends with you, and don't we agree it's good you're even here? Of course we do!"
"I don't understand..."
"Nor can you, for I have kept my secret a long long time." Bilbo fell silent but the firmness of his expression told Frodo that the old hobbit was deterimed to tell his tale.
But Frodo felt anxious. "[i:2qvvlbah]'Begin with you and end with me?' [/i:2qvvlbah] What do you mean?"
Bilbo sighed. "Have you ever heard of Beren and Luthien?"
"Yes indeed."
"And of course you know about Aragorn and Beren?"
"Yes, Uncle, of course I do. You know that. Why do you hesitate? Why, you seem to be beating around the bush. Why is that?"
Bilbo sighed again. "Yes, I've beaten around the odd bush or two in my time, but I'm too old for it now. Frodo! Have you ever heard of the Lady Itaril?"
"Yes. She was an Elf Maiden from Mirkwood wasn't she?"
""Yes, at least [i:2qvvlbah]formerly[/i:2qvvlbah] an Elf Maiden... but that was a long long time ago..." A sparkle glinted in the elder's eye, as if he was now recalling something very special.
"Speak on, Uncle Bilbo. I'm keen to hear your tale!"
"What I mean is," Bilbo said distractedly, talking more to himself than Frodo, "[i:2qvvlbah]'What's good for The Man is good for The Hobbit?'[/i:2qvvlbah] Isn't that a well known saying?"
"No it's not!"
"Nowadays, you'd know it in this form: [i:2qvvlbah]'What's good for the goose is good or the gander.'[/i:2qvvlbah] The meaning, I might add, has changed slightly from way back when...."
"Uncle Bilbo, will you get on with it!"
"Listen then and I'll tell you. You're a grown-up hobbit and so I'll tell it straight, leaving out all innuendos and euphemisms... No, maybe I won't. You being a lifelong celibate and all... I don't want to shock you with anything too graphic..."
"Oh Bilbo! Just get on with it!"
"Well, it all began one evening while I was slinking around the halls and passages of the Elven King's Halls. I mean to say, how on earth could I have known that that little out of the way passageway led down to the bathing pool? The Forbidden Bathing Pool"?"
"Speak on," Frodo exclaimed, suddenly very interested.
And so Bilbo spoke on...
Ah dueling chapters is it Odo? :lol: I thought you were writing the Galadriel version of the tale <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . I'm already working on [b:2hrirt7m]my[/b:2hrirt7m] Chapter 2, but knock yourself out. My version is more LotRish drama (with as much "appropriate" humour as I can muster) rather than Naughty Hobbit Spoof. Though you have apparently anticipated The Forbidden Bathing Pool :o :P (not to mention a line or two regarding Beren and Luthien and Aragorn and Arwen :roll: , curse you :lol: ).

[b:2hrirt7m]GB[/b:2hrirt7m]
Great stuff so far. GB, I'm looking forward to Chapter 2. :mrgreen: :lol:
Do your best buddy boy! Let's see this 'fabled' Chapter 2 before you begin to bag! A chapter on the page is worth two in the imagination.

(Hey! I might even write something serious and confound you all!)

As to this being your 'thread': well, you shouldn't have put it somewhere I could get at it, now should you? :twisted: (Presumably you don't have kids!)

Anyhow, enough of foreplay, I'll throw down the gauntlet. Take it up if you dare! :mrgreen:

CHAPTER TWO.....
Chapter Two


Both Hobbits—the Elder and the Younger—sat on a low cushioned bench against the starboard railing of the stern. Bilbo reached into his cloak and pulled out a parcel of food, a jug of Elf-Wine, two cups, and his pipe. Striking his flint, he lit the pipe and was soon puffing smoke rings.

After a short spell, a ham and cheese sandwich, an apple, a pork pie, a boiled egg, and several cups of Elf-Wine, the two Hobbits relaxed, their pipe smoke blowing towards the Bow. They gazed at the horizon as contentment settled and the chill of the air no longer bit their cheeks.

The only sound was the flapping of the sails and the waves against the sides of the ship. There were a few Elves at the bow of the vessel, but if they spoke their voices were carried away by the wind. Gandalf was nowhere to be seen.

Tentatively, Bilbo began his Tale.

“You remember how I found the Ring don’t you Frodo?”
“Of course I do, Uncle.”
“Well…Hmmm…er…well, there was a chapter or two I left out of There and Back Again.” Frodo’s jaw dropped in astonishment. He thought he knew everything there was to know about the Tale.

“Does this have something to do with the Ring? Now that it has been destroyed and its curse lifted, there is surely nothing that can come between us.”
“No, Frodo. It’s not got anything to do with the Ring…well, I mean…not directly (though it does play a small part)…indeed, without it…erm…well…” sputtered Bilbo.
“Do get on with it Uncle.” giggled Frodo. Bilbo pulled him-self together, sat up straight, fixed on Frodo intently with his eyes, then with calmness and authority he cleared his throat and began again.

“Without the Ring, my dear boy, you would have never existed. Indeed, I am more at fault than you could ever know for your sorrows. It all began as I was looking for those wretched Dwarves (confound them) in the dungeons of Thranduil, King of the Mirkwood Elves, and legolas’s father—you know…that fellow did have his cantankerous moments—In any case, I was lost.”

“I stumbled around the hallways for hours trying to find where those dratted Dwarves had got themselves imprisoned. I thought I had finally got the right of it when I entered a small Cavern. I turned a corner, and, all of a sudden, I saw the most stunning sight—a glittering, beautiful, and diamond emblazoned Grotto. Steam rose from the burbling water. I stood there enchanted, lost in a timeless reverie. I thought…well…” Bilbo’s face flushed again.

“I thought I was alone—I mean how was I to know—The Forbidden Pool—really, who wouldn’t be entranced by such beauty?” his face turned even redder. “As my eye wandered around The Enchanted Grotto, a movement caught my attention—ripples in the water just past a jutting rocky ledge. As my heart thumped so loud I was certain I would be discovered, the most beautiful Elven Lass I had ever seen (she could have put Lady Arwen to shame) emerged, dripping, from water, entirely in a state of…erm…undress.”

“I was mortified. But I couldn’t look away; some kind of Force held me Petrified. As I watched (I know I shouldn’t have) she rose, floating into the air till her toes just barely touched the surface of the steaming water. She began to slowly spin, her eyes closed, and arms reaching for the heavens. The spinning picked up speed and the water rolled off her, like water off a duck’s back. Then…to my utter horror…she began to glide towards me.”

“Something clicked inside me. I came to, and panicking, scrambled wildly behind a rock. Of course it just happened to be the rock her bath-robe was behind. I trod on it just as it flew up to meet its owner. It pulled out from under my foot, sending me tumbling, face forward, to the ground. By the time I righted myself and turned over to face her, I was shocked to see her smiling down upon me, now swathed in her robes.”

“I couldn’t comprehend why she just floated there, continuing to smile at me. I was certain that any minute Elf Guards would arrive and roughly toss me into a cell all of my own. The moment seemed to linger for hours. Then she reached out with her hand, and I flinched. She caressed my cheek, and to my dismay, she planted a delicate kiss upon it.”

“’Dear Hobbit,’ she whispered, ’Do not be frightened. I knew you would eventually come to me.’ I was flabbergasted. ‘Wha…What do you mean…My Lady?’ I sputtered.”

“’I have foreseen this moment, the moment I would meet my betrothed, since I left the Undying Lands to help free Middle-Earth from Morgoth. I did not know when it would happen, but I knew…’” A Staggered Frodo interrupted Bilbo.

“What? Betrothed!!! What do you—did she—mean?” Frodo Gasped.
“Well, if I can continue, I’ll tell you,” Chuckled Bilbo. “I admit, I was as befuddled as you are now. She gave me a soft deep look such as I had never seen. She gave me another kiss—a peck more or less—on my lips, and said, ‘But not now, not in this place, Thranduil would not understand. We shall be together again my Beloved, but for now I shall help you find your friends.’”

“I thought her mad at the time. ‘Are you certain you’re alright?’ I muttered ‘Perhaps I should call for some help for you.’ She laughed, looked at me with concern. ‘They would likely kill you right where you stand if they found you here at the Sacred Grotto. No my Dear Sweet Hobbit, I shall help you. Here is a symbol of the Truth of my Love for you.’ Then she gave me this.”

Bilbo opened his hand, and Frodo, awestruck, gazed at the silver and diamond clasp in it, gleaming in the Morning Sun.

[b:1vn3b2ew]GB[/b:1vn3b2ew]

PS: You are absolutely welcome to post away Odo :mrgreen: . I look forward to it. I love your brilliant sense of humour and wish I could write something equally witty. There is no reason we can't post parallel versions 8-) . It should be entertaining for all.
Gosh! That was quick! I've never seen someone pick up a gauntlet that quick before! Maybe I was a bit hasty with my bragging....

Odo
Yes, I spent last night and this morning composing it on my Word program :ugeek: (when I should have been sleeping :roll: ). I must admit, the inspiration is perhaps my own identification with Bilbo's character <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> :oops: . Who wouldn't want to be Chosen by a Lovely Elf Lass :mrgreen: .

[b:1nrjy640]GB[/b:1nrjy640]
These things can be a bit addictive if you're that way inclined. Love what you've done. I'm gonna go away and have a think (gotta get my hair cut), and I see I'll have to make choices. Either follow you line or do this [i:xpi4zoq9]parallel thing[/i:xpi4zoq9] of which you speak! Bilbo did do a similar thing. He originally told Gandalf and the dwarves a "nicer' version of his meeting with Gollum under the Misty Mountains. Maybe you're writing the 'censored' version? Anyhow, you haven't heard the last of me on this. (As to Bilbo and Galadriel. Yes, work needs to be done there too! :twisted: )

Odo
Yes, while you're not always totally dependable due to your innate liberalism, I still know I can trust you on the really big ticket issues! <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
Odo
More good stuff! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> Poor Frodo seems to be getting hit a bit hard by all this new information.

[quote="Gandalfs Beard":3tsu0fnx]I must admit, the inspiration is perhaps my own identification with Bilbo's character <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />[/quote:3tsu0fnx]

Isn't it a good if you have a hero who everyone wants to be (just like)? :lol: :P
Bilbo quickly becomes a much more multifaceted modern-age character than we ever thought. Maybe some of those Literarti Types will begin to come over. You know who I mean, those critics who get off on impenetrable arty-farty books like Ulysses by James Joyce.The ones Tolkien despised - as do I! Eegad! Let's not make Bilbo [i:1b2z30js]too [/i:1b2z30js]modern if it invites [i:1b2z30js]those [/i:1b2z30js]kind of people!

Odo
No Fear Odo. Not in my Fan Fic <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . I was just pointing out on another forum earlier today, that Tokien, for all his conceit that he was the "Translator" of Middle-Earth lore, was no Post-Modernist. So there will be none of it in my homage to the Master.

[b:2ksb7ppa]GB[/b:2ksb7ppa]
This story is great!!!!!!!!! Keep going u 2!
And perhaps, if ur willing to make this a totally wacky story, u could incorporate a very jealous pining elvish prince??????? that would spice things up! :lol:
Well, my version isn't going to be too wacky Tinuviel, I'm trying to play it straight <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . But it's remarkable how you and Odo have rumbled some of my planned plot points. You guys must be psychic (or you've just read a lot of Archetypal Fantasy Stories :P ).

By the way I'm going to be busy for a few days, so Chapter 3 might not be ready till sometime this weekend.

[b:3r1gxump]GB[/b:3r1gxump]
Well, I'm leaving the floor for you to dance on GB. Don't be too long about Chapter Three, though. You cunningly left it at the moment where all the real sauce begins! More sauce, I say, more sauce!

Odo

NB I'm busy on LotRizing The Hobbit as you know! But I'll keep an eye out on what you're doing, in case there's some more ideas I can stea... enjoy.
Patiently waiting, GB...patiently waiting....

Odo

NB I'm not all [i:30a48gma]that [/i:30a48gma] patient though....
Here you go Odo :lol: .

Chapter 3

Frodo took the silver and diamond clasp. It was shaped like interlocking leaves, reminding him strongly of the Leaves of Lorien. He passed it back to Bilbo, and puzzlement furrowed his brow. There was something odd about Bilbo’s revised story.

“Uncle, how did she…the Elf…”
“Lady Itaril,” interrupted Bilbo.
“…Itaril then. How did the Lady Itaril see you? I thought you were invisible the entire time you were working out how to free the Dwarves from the Elf King’s dungeons.”

Bilbo looked sheepishly at Frodo, hemming and hawing as he considered his words.
“Well…you know…as I said—harumph—I…er, did leave out some bits of the story before. And as much as I enjoyed that Ring and its powers, I always felt a little nervous about wearing it for any extended length of time. I suppose I was afraid if I wore it too long I might never become visible again. So, when I was certain I was alone, I would take it off. But it didn’t seem particularly relevant, so I left it out of the story.”

Light dawned on Frodo, and he smiled to himself. So that was why it had taken an apparently Invisible Bilbo several weeks to free the Dwarves.

“In any case,” Bilbo hurried on anxiously, “Lady Itaril introduced herself to me, and…er…showed me the right way to the dungeons…”
“And the underground stream, and the wine cellars?” snickered Frodo.
“Yes…yes,” snapped Bilbo. Then he sighed resignedly. “Yes, alright, not quite the Heroic Tale you remember, but…”
“It’s alright Uncle,” laughed Frodo, “You risked life and limb, and frankly, it was even more heroic of you to have attempted the rescue without using the Ring as much as you would have liked.”

Bilbo brightened up at that, reassured. He hadn’t considered that angle before. Confidence regained, he continued his story.

“Well then, Lady Itaril met with me several times in secret and helped me plan the escape. It was she who helped distract the Guards in the end. I still didn’t really believe the whole ‘betrothed’ bit, thought she was perhaps just a wee bit eccentric. But, I was enraptured with her nonetheless, and who am I to argue with an Elf (especially such a beautiful and enchanting one)?”

“The morning before I packed the Dwarves in the barrels, Itaril took me aside. ‘We shall not be parted long Dear One,’ she began, ‘Your quest will bring us together again before you return to the Shire. This much I know. I must prepare myself and make plans for our betrothal. It will not be an easy task to convince my kin-folk. Yet we are as bound together as ever were Beren and Luthien.’ And with that she kissed me…not a peck such as before…nor the sort of sloppy wet kiss that might prelude a…er…sordidly casual encounter, but a Deep Kiss of such Passion and Grace that parting from it seemed to rend my very heart from my body. When I bade her farewell, I was finally convinced that we were intended.”

“I couldn’t bear leaving after that, but that kiss kept me warm all the way to Lake-Town.” Bilbo finished dreamily. Frodo allowed him a few moments of reverie, before prodding him to continue the story.

“Well, I didn’t see Lady Itaril again until after The Battle of Five Armies. And I was desperately anxious for her, as she had revealed to me that she was a Warrior-Elf whose duty was to be the Elf-King’s royal guard. I was very relieved to find her unharmed but for a few nicks and bruises as Gandalf and I rode back to Mirkwood with the Elf-King. She smiled at me warmly, then rode forward and leaned in to speak with Thranduil in hushed tones.”

“I must say, the Elf-King’s son Legolas, practically smirked as he watched Itaril fall back beside Gandalf, myself and Beorn. I know she hadn’t told them the Truth, but clearly that rapscallion Legolas was suspicious.” Bilbo chuckled as he reminisced.

“She told us that Thranduil had given her the honour of being my personal escort back to the Shire or whither I might go, in gratitude for my small part in re-forging old alliances. So after parting from the company of Elves, she continued on with us to Beorn’s”

“While we wintered at Beorn’s, we grew very close, and Itaril would steal to my room after all were asleep. We conversed about many things, shared Elf-Wine and laughter, and…erm…snuggled by the blazing fire.”
“Snuggled?” giggled Frodo, “I didn’t know Elves ‘snuggled’.” Smirking, Frodo gentled poked his Uncle in the ribs. “Though for some reason I occasionally get the impression that Galadriel might be up for a bit of ‘snuggling’.”

Bilbo looked horrified and quickly scanned the deck for any nearby Elves.
“Ssssh!” he hushed Frodo. “’tis no joking matter (especially as far as Lady Galadriel is concerned). Don’t let the other Elves hear you saying such unseemly things. Come now, let’s get some lunch and I’ll tell you some more a bit later.”

[b:yac01lqd]GB[/b:yac01lqd]
I have absolutely no idea where you are going to take this... but I'm keen to know.

I want more, sir, I want more!

Odo
I'll do my best to keep installments coming regularly Odo <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . I should be able to manage three a week. I'm not really certain how long this will take to tell, as my outline is minimal. But I want to do the original source material as much justice as I can muster, and I don't want to rush things.

So, I know basically where I'm going, and a few of the stops along the way, but not precisely what path I am taking :roll: . But I am committed to seeing this through.

[b:1k4fq120]GB[/b:1k4fq120]
Wonderful GB! I especially liked the little Legolas bit (and the Galadriel one!) :lol: :lol: :lol:
Thanks Tinuviel :mrgreen: . Alrighty, on to chapter 4:

Chapter 4

Galadriel smiled at Frodo from across the table. He squirmed uncomfortably and smiled wanly back. It was one of her “special” smiles, he was certain. Whenever Gandalf, Bilbo, Celeborn, or the other Elves were looking her expression was as inscrutable as a Wizard’s. Yet whenever Frodo caught her eye she smiled with that knowing, and fleetingly passionate sidelong glance.

Sam hadn’t believed a word of it. “It’s your imagination Mr. Frodo, o’ course you feel special when she looks at you. She’s an Elf-Queen.” He would say. Frodo finished his second platter of Roast Venison, Bacon, Mashed Potatoes, Shire Puddings, Gondoran Sourdough Rolls, Peas, Carrots, and Gravy without daring to look up again. He washed it down with several tankards of Elf-Wine. Hearing Gandalf laugh aloud, Frodo looked over at him and Bilbo who seemed to have just finished telling a joke.

Frodo caught Gandalf’s eye, and Gandalf winked back at him merrily. Bilbo, Frodo and Gandalf climbed the steps at the back of the dining cabin to the deck above. The wind was up, stronger than the morning one driving the ship ever Westward. Clouds were moving in from the South, a smallish one temporarily obscuring the afternoon sun.

The Wizard and Hobbits lit their pipes and leaned over the railing observing the approaching cloud bank.

“It looks like we might have a rough evening ahead, friends. I hope you and Bilbo have your sea-legs by now Frodo. Frodo…Frodo, are you listening?” Frodo started, never had he been so inattentive to Gandalf before. Gandalf’s expression was quizzical.

“It must be the Pipe-Weed,” murmured Frodo, embarrassed. “Very potent.” he added. In truth, he couldn’t stop thinking about Itaril and Bilbo. For the first time in his life Frodo couldn’t wait for Gandalf to leave him and Bilbo alone, so he could hear the rest of the tale.

The minutes seemed to stretch on into hours, but finally Frodo and Bilbo were alone again.

“Let’s see,” began Bilbo, “where was I? Oh yes, cuddling Itaril on those long winter nights at Beorn’s. She told me her story; her parents had long passed on to the Halls of Mandos after being killed in one of the skirmishes with Morgoth. She was alone now, her closest kin still in Middle-Earth being the House of Thranduil, cousins several times removed.”

“They took her in, and eventually, after proving herself time and time again in battles with the Goblins and Fell Beasts of Dol Guldur, Itaril was honoured with a post as an elite member of Thranduil’s personal Guard. Despite this, Itaril told me she had always felt apart from the rest.”

“The other Mirkwood Elves never quite accepted her as one of them. Only Legolas and Thranduil took to Itaril without reserve. Andruil, Legolas’s half-brother…” Bilbo registered Frodo’s shocked expression as he opened his mouth to interrupt. He raised his hands gesturing to stop, and hurried on before Frodo could get in a word. “Don’t ask, that’s a story all in itself Frodo. Surely you want to hear the rest of this one first. There will plenty of time for others on this voyage.”

Frodo deflated and Bilbo continued.
“Anyway, Legolas’s half-brother Andruil, was also a member of the Elf-King’s Guard and apparently had long nursed a grudge against Legolas and was increasingly embittered that Thranduil would not acknowledge him as a legitimate son…” Frodo again tried to interject.

“Bother it,” grumbled Bilbo, “alright…alright. In brief, Andruil’s mother was Thranduil’s second wife, taken many years after Legolas’s mother was killed in battle with the Necromancer’s forces. That’s all you really need to know for now…oh, and that Thranduil could not acknowledge Andruil as a legitimate heir without risking his alliance with the family of Legolas’s mother. Of course everyone knew Andruil was the King’s son, but he couldn’t be recognized as Prince unless Legolas was killed in battle. Only then would he be an official heir.”

“In any case, Thranduil loved Andruil very much and didn’t like to play favourites, so he gave Andruil a post in his Royal Guard (it really is the Highest Honour among Elves you know), and always tried to treat him fairly. Nevertheless, Andruil developed quite a chip on his shoulder. And it didn’t help when Itaril became favoured by the Elf-King.”

“Itaril, Legolas, and his father were thick as thieves, and it was rumoured for a time that Thranduil was grooming them for marriage. But Legolas was resistant, many thought because he was quite the playboy (for an Elf—though that says a lot coming from Mirkwood Elves).” Bilbo chuckled at that.

“Itaril revealed to me that she was certain that Legolas could sense her fealty to another. But, no matter what they did or didn’t do, Andruil continued to harbour resentments. Itaril could not find peace, and often bore the brunt of Andruil’s barbs.”

“At the time Itaril asked to be my personal Guard, Andruil had been sowing many seeds of accusations against her with Thranduil. She knew that to openly declare herself betrothed to a Hobbit would be impossible, far more so than even if I had been a Man of Numenorean descent.”

“And thus, Itaril’s plan was a success…at least for a while anyway. After winter had passed Gandalf took me aside one fine spring morning, larks singing and forest flowers blooming. He studied me intently for a moment; then winked at me, his face crinkling into a smile. ‘We ought to make haste for Rivendell and then off home Bilbo, but for now we must part. You have another task to complete before you leave these lands.’ I was flabbergasted.

“’But Gandalf, what else is there to do,’ I cried ‘I have done all that you asked and more. Smaug is dead, and the old alliances re-forged, and—according to you—the Necromancer has been driven from Mirkwood.’
‘Bilbo, the task before you is your own. The Lady Itaril will guide you on this part of the journey. It is for you and her alone. I shall meet you again when you pass through The House of Elrond, and see you and Itaril back to the Shire.’”

“So clearly Gandalf knew something was up, in fact he seemed (and still does) to know more about my destiny than I did (and do) myself. Well, he is a Wizard after all.” Frodo was rapt, not wanting Bilbo to stop. He was awoken from his enchantment by a big fat raindrop on his nose.

While Bilbo had been telling the tale, the cloudbank had gathered above them and swiftly become a storm-front. An Elf-Sailor approached them bearing a tarp and weatherproofed cloaks.

“You are both fine here for the time being,” said the Elf. ”We will be traveling along the edge of this storm for a while yet. But when the waves come up, it will be time to retreat to your cabin.” And with that, the Hobbits covered up and gleefully witnessed the spectacle of Nature as the rain began to fall in earnest.

Bilbo excitedly continued his story.
“I really had very little idea of what was going on. Gandalf departed that morning, and bewildered, I approached Itaril. She laughed in that musical way that only an Elf in love can.”

“‘Mithrandir is wise indeed. Yes Bilbo, we must journey back through the forest to the Mirkwood Mountains and find the Enchanted Falls that feeds the Enchanted Stream. There, under the Full Moon, in that Sacred Place, can we consummate our betrothal. Then shall we be bound in the Grace of Eru, and none may challenge us, Elf, Man, or Hobbit.’”

“So, we packed our bags, told Beorn that we would be passing back through in a month or so, and we were off on Horseback, heading back into Mirkwood. Oh Mirkwood is gorgeous in the Spring Frodo, especially with most of the Fell Creatures driven out. Butterflies flitted to and fro amongst the flowers, pink, and gold, and amethyst, and turquoise, all the colours of the rainbow.”

There was a loud peal of thunder, and lightning lit up the deck. A wave crested on the port side washing across the deck and rocking the ship. The Hobbits were drenched. Frodo looked disappointed.
“Well that was quicker than we were led to believe Uncle. We should head below.”
“What…because of this little shower?” Bilbo grumbled.
“It’s not safe now Bilbo. Come on.”
“Bah, I’ve seen worse than this you know.”
“Yes, but that was on land Uncle.” Replied Frodo; his eyes rolling. “This is far too dangerous for us.” And indeed, an Elf came up at that very moment and urged the Hobbits down below.

[b:vd84pwhc]GB[/b:vd84pwhc]
[i:1js5g1ql]"She knew that to openly declare herself betrothed to a Hobbit would be impossible..." [/i:1js5g1ql]

Ha! You're certainly not understating the case! And this Enchanted Source of an Enchanted Stream - very interesting....!

Bravo!

Odo
Thanks Odo :mrgreen: .

I'm doing my best to keep everything in sync with canon. If you look at a map of Mirkwood, you will find Enchanted Stream which runs down from the Mirkwood Mts and feeds into Forest River right at the Halls of Thranduil (possibly feeding The Enchanted Grotto <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ). I think I probably invented Enchanted Falls, but as long as it doesn't directly contradict canon (at least not without a reasonable explanation, such as fibbing Hobbits or taciturn Elves <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ), it should fit right in.

[b:3hgk0lnn]GB[/b:3hgk0lnn]
Are you turning into some kind of Tolkien Purist? Eegad!

Odo
Only when I'm writing fan fiction :P :lol: .

But seriously <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> , I'm just trying to make it plausible based on Actual Tolkien canon. If anyone notices any glaring errors please point them out (so I can revise them and/or concoct some "reasonable" alternative explanation :roll: ).

[b:2w1b8gdd]GB[/b:2w1b8gdd]
I shall be watching like a hawk (or perhaps a Tolkien eagle!!)

Odo
Chapter 5


The two Hobbits had hung up their wet clothes to dry, and were now bundled in thick furry robes. Frodo lit the lantern and the stove. Soon they were lying cozily on their bunks in the tiny cabin. Rain pelted at the glass porthole, then, as the ship rocked back the turbulent sea foam was all that could be seen swirling outside.

“Tea Time Uncle?” Frodo pulled two thermoses from a basket. Next came a large packet of finger size cucumber sandwiches, two dozen sausage rolls, a slab of matured Cheshire cheese, crisped potatoes, a variety of fruit tarts, slices of iced cakes, a bowl of sugared strawberries and a jug of cream.

“Goodness! Is that the time already?” asked Bilbo, peering at his pocket-watch. “Excellent lad, I’m famished. All this tossing and turning is making me hungry.” Which just goes to show what remarkable creatures Hobbits truly are. Their resilient spirits and low statures made them ideally suited for a life at Sea.

This was of course followed by a thermos each of hot strong cider, potent enough to rival Elf-Wine, and a bowl of Pipe-Weed. After the last smoke ring disintegrated, Bilbo continued his story.

“Hmm…ahem…The first stage of our journey was delightfully uneventful. Itaril and I traveled for several days along the Old Forest Road before leaving it for a hidden path only she could follow. After two more days it bagan to get quite hilly and I could see the snowcapped mountains a day and a half’s walk in the distance.”

“That night, as I lay down next to Itaril, I felt more unsettled than I had since the Battle of 5 Armies. Something seemed amiss, as if there were another presence close by. Itaril may have looked asleep, but like most Elves, she was keenly aware of her surroundings, even—or especially—in repose.”

“I awoke with start, my heart thudding. Itaril’s hand was across my mouth, and she was crouched silently over me with bow at the ready and swords strapped to her lithe form.
‘Shush Bilbo,’ she whispered, ‘Just stay still and keep a good grip on Sting. If I anything happens, slip on the Ring and stay hidden until I tell you it’s safe.’”

“You told her!!?” Frodo looked incredulous. “I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised though. It’s not like you knew at the time what that Ring was.”
“Besides which…” Bilbo interjected, “…I actually didn’t tell her about the Ring.”

“I was stunned—you could have knocked me over with a feather (if I hadn’t already been horizontal). I’m still not certain how she knew about the Ring, but Itaril later told me she had always known that her betrothed would be a Ring-bearer. Though she didn’t know how Evil that accursed Ring was, she could sense something Dark about it, and warned me to be careful about wearing it for too long—which, of course, I was already doing.”

“Anyway, Itaril held me down for an interminable length of time, and I didn’t think it was quite the right time to ask her how she knew about the Ring. In fact, I was terrified. Then the Night came alive and I slipped on the Ring.”

“It all seemed to happen in slow-motion, yet it was over in a trice. Itaril was a Vision to behold, her petite form clad in skintight black leather and mithril, boldly silhouetted against the Silver Moonlight. She moved like a Forest Cat, her mahogany ponytail whipping around as she killed the Fell Creature with one swift strike of her sword.”

“I’d never seen anything like it before. It looked like a cross between a goblin and a bat. I was thankful that one was dead.
‘This isn’t good,’ Itaril said, ‘You never find one Vampyre all alone. Bilbo, put the Ring back on and stay hidden.’ The rest of that night still gives me nightmares.” Bilbo shuddered.

“They came in waves. But Itaril was a swath of destruction. Limbs flew and blood sprayed, but none of it was Itaril’s, and I began to hold out hope that we would survive the night. Then to my horror, one of those foul creatures flew at her from the rear as her blade ran one through and more approached from her front. Still invisible, I leapt out from under my bush in panic, Sting in my hand. Lunging forward, I skewered the Brute in the throat and it died gurgling.”

“I began invisibly hacking right and left, dozens falling at my invisible (and hairy) feet…”
“Bilbo,” interrupted Frodo, rolling his eyes again. “You’re doing it again. I want the real story this time.”
“Thistles and Whiskers my Boy,” sputtered a consternated Bilbo, “I was on a roll. Bother you. Alright then, the unvarnished truth was that I slew 3 more of those beasts that night. But I remained with Itaril until the few remaining Vampyres fled before dawn broke.”

“We left the area post-haste and by late afternoon we had found a defensible position in a shallow cave. Itaril and I were exhausted and famished, but we made a fire and cooked up a couple of hares, and baked some wild turnips in the embers. After that and a few wild blackberries and a cake of Lembas, the edge was finally taken off my hunger. All we had to drink was water, but I had my Pipe-Weed.”

“I was soon feeling much better despite a rather nasty gash, many smaller cuts and nicks, and several painful bruises. We dressed our wounds and Itaril found a flask of Miruvor in one of her bags. Soon our pains were just memories, albeit very fresh ones. Itaril hung an Elvish Cloak over the cave entrance, effectively rendering us camouflaged.”

“Finally, we could relax. So I was rather distraught to find Itaril glaring ferociously at me, her eyes brimming with tears.
‘Bilbo, I told you to stay down and out of the way. What were you thinking? I need you to trust in me to see you through. I need you to live.’ She didn’t shout at all, which of course made it much worse. I didn’t even point out that I had actually managed to kill a few Monsters myself.”

“Then her tears burst their dam and trickled down those beautiful cheeks, my heart felt like it was tearing in two. She caressed my face.
‘Dear, Sweet Bilbo, I am so sorry. You fought bravely and well. And there are times when it may be necessary for you to defend yourself if we are facing more than one enemy. But you must never think you need to defend me. I could not bear to lose you because you felt you had to risk yourself for me. Promise me you won’t…please…Bilbo, my Beloved.’”

“Foolishly perhaps, I did promise her that I wouldn’t risk myself unnecessarily. Though, I did tell myself that [b:2kn04ld2]I[/b:2kn04ld2] would decide when it might be necessary to join battle to protect Itaril.”

“I fell asleep in Itaril’s embrace, and we had an undisturbed night. The next day dawned brightly and we rode to the South slope of the Mirkwood Mountains by mid-afternoon. They weren’t as tall as the Misty Mts. But they were tall enough for Glaciers on the upper North slopes and snow caps. Fortunately there is a pass between the first Mountain approached from the West, and the second one, only just above the tree line. Thank Goodness we would only have a short distance to traverse in snow.”


[b:2kn04ld2]GB[/b:2kn04ld2]
Chapter 6


“As Itaril and I made our way up the slope towards the pass, the maples, oaks, and elms were largely replaced by pines, spruces, and junipers. Soon patches of half melted snow could be seen in nooks that the sun never reached. It was late afternoon now, so we made camp under a rocky outcropping.”

“Itaril kept looking back the way we came distractedly, making me nervous.
‘Are we still being followed by Vampyres Itaril?’ I queried. She frowned, perplexed.
‘No…they will not return dear Bilbo. Yet I feel that we are still being followed, though by whom I do not know. I brought us this way to minimize the chance of discovery by my Elf-Kin, but…’ she trailed off, clearly disturbed.”

“Our sleep that night was restless; the horse kept starting at odd noises. When morning broke, stiff and sore we continued our journey. Soon, snow-pack crunched under our feet and the trees grew thinner. We stopped, and put on our Elf-cloaks. I was surprised that they were now white, but I mused that their magic camouflage was at work. Itaril pulled out a pouch of some sparkly sort of powder and sprinkled it on the soles of our feet and the horse’s hooves.”

“’That should prevent us from leaving a trail.’ Itaril said, noting my puzzled expression. Remarkably, it worked. As the snowy slope steepened, I looked back and could see no foot or hoof-prints. By midday, we reached the summit of the pass, and we rested in a small thicket of conifers. She kept looking down the mountain as we lunched, but I could see nothing.”

“We continued down the other side after lunch. But clouds had engulfed the mountains, and we traversed in thick fog. The ground was still covered in snow, but the trees began increasing. I wasn’t certain precisely where we were heading, but I knew that our destination drew nearer.”

“The trees and the fog seemed to swallow us, and I became anxious again.
‘Stop,’ hissed Itaril. ‘Stay behind me Bilbo. This is my fight.’ Frightened, I obeyed her as she unsheathed her sword. My heart caught in my throat. Out of the swirling mist three scowling Elves emerged. I recognized the leader as Andruil, son of Thranduil.”

“’Surely you didn’t think the Concealment Powder would work on us Itaril.’ sneered Andruil. ‘We’ve been tracking you ever since we found the corpses of the Flying Uruk you killed. We had been on their trail as we hunt the remnants of the Necromancers forces.’
‘I did not know who followed us,’ Itaril responded acidly, ‘It was a necessary precaution.’
‘And your unsheathed sword…Is that also a necessary precaution, My Lady?’ He said those last two words with a vehement sarcasm most unbecoming an Elf.”

“’That depends on the reason for your pursuit, Andruil. Why do you follow us? You obviously knew who you were tracking.’
‘Yes, I did. The wounds on the corpses of the Winged Goblins bore your signature. What are you and that Rodent doing back in our Realm Itaril? I had hoped you would be long gone by now, well over the Misty Mountains, never to return.’
‘It is no business of yours, Andruil. The Hobbit and I have a task that only concerns Eru.’
‘Eru? Don’t make me laugh. I always knew you were a traitor to your kind. I’ve known ever since you turned down my hand in marriage. And here you are on a path to the Enchanted Falls, with that…that Halfling. You couldn’t even choose a Man. Thranduil is a fool to have trusted you.’ The other two Elves looked nervously at each other as Andruil’s voice rose in anger. ‘And now I have proof, I shall take you and the Rat back for the King’s judgment—dead if you make it necessary.’”

“At that, one of the other Elves grasped Andruil’s arm in dismay.
‘My Lord, you cannot,’ he gasped in shock, ‘It is grave indeed to threaten one of our own…’
‘What??? She is not one of our own. She is a Harlot, a disgrace to all Elf-kind.’ He jerked his arm away from his companion. And I leapt forward, forgetting myself in my anger at hearing my Beloved besmirched.
‘Villain,’ I cried, ‘Apologize at once for your foul discourtesy to the Lady Itaril. An Elf like you should be ashamed to use such despicable language.’
‘The Rat speaks,’ snarled the Angry Elf, ‘Do you not see the truth now my friends? These two are an abomination; come, assist me in their capture.’”

“The other two Elves looked at each other again, stone-faced. The one that had spoken previously looked back at Andruil and spoke up again.
‘No, my Lord, the Lady Itaril has the King’s favour, and she has proven herself worthy in battle many times over.’ He bowed towards Itaril and gestured towards the silent Elf. ‘Forgive our intrusion my Lady, we shall take our leave. Blessed be your journey.’”

“Andruil was enraged.
‘Fine, begone then you cowardly vermin,’ he roared, ‘Run back to the Halls of the King. When I return with these two in bonds, I will see to it that Thranduil’s judgment falls upon you also.’ Andruil’s companions melted silently back into the mist.
‘Well, what is it to be Itaril? Is the Rodent worth it? I’ll give you another chance, come back with me and pledge our betrothal to Thranduil. Or defy me and return in chains—or worse.’”

“’He is not a Rodent,’ snarled Itaril, ‘Bilbo is a Hobbit. And he is more of a Man or Elf than you will ever be. His courage, stout heart, and clarity of purpose make him as Noble of Spirit as any Elf-Liege.’ Well Frodo, even in the midst of my fright, I couldn’t help but be delightfully chuffed by the Lady’s speech. My face grew hot, and I dare say it could have melted the glaciers above. But I had little time to get a swelled head.”

“With another roar, Andruil lunged forward slashing at Itaril with his sword. She slipped out of her cloak and parried his first blow with ease. It was a furious battle, and the snow became a muddy puddle in their circle. Blades clanged, and sweat flew. I cringed when I saw the edge of Andruil’s sword trace a red line across her thigh.”

“As good as Andruil was though, it was clear by far that Itaril was his better. For every nick he bestowed upon her, he received 10 gashes. Finally, she had a clear advantage, and swept his feet out from under him with a low spinning back-kick. She stood over the prone exhausted Elf and glared at him, her sword at his throat.”

“After a moment the defeated Elf spoke.
‘What are you waiting for…coward? Kill me and be done with it.’
‘You may have no respect for your Kin-folk Andruil, but I do. To spill the blood of one’s own is a terrible deed. Now crawl back to the House of Thranduil, and tell him what you wish. You have nothing to confirm your story. And apparently, I have made more friends among the Elves of the Greenwood than I realized. But you can tell Thranduil one thing from me, that I can never return to his Halls while I must protect Bilbo and myself from the likes of you. Now, get you hence.’”

“Snarling, Andruil staggered to his feet and whistled for his horse. After climbing on he wheeled to face us.
‘I will pass on your message to Thranduil, mark my words. But if our paths should ever cross again, only one of us will leave alive.’ And with that the Brute galloped off into the misty woods.”

“Itaril was trembling with emotion and exhausted, bleeding from numerous cuts. I held her close as she sobbed into my shoulder. After a while, we broke apart and left the clearing to find shelter for the night. We set up camp under an enormous oak-tree, well shielded from the elements and out of the snow.”

“Our supper that night was meager, but after binding Itaril’s wounds we drank some Elf-Wine, and I lit my pipe. She felt more relaxed in my arms than she had for several days. We slept soundly that night.”

“And that’s it for tonight my boy,” yawned Bilbo sleepily.
“What? You can’t stop now. What happened next? Uncle, I have to know.” Frodo agitatedly grasped Bilbo’s shoulder.
“Heh, heh,” Bilbo chuckled. “It’s time for us to sleep dear lad. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you more tomorrow.”
“Pfooie, how can I sleep now?” grumbled Frodo.

Frodo lay in his bunk wide awake as the ship lurched back and forth on the stormy sea. Excited thoughts jumbled in his brain. Soon enough though, his snores joined Bilbo’s in symphony with the creaking of the ship, the pounding of the waves, and the thunderclaps.

[b:1uxyhaup]GB[/b:1uxyhaup]
Drawing me in... drawing me in....

Odo

On a perilously serious note - all this is good practice.... (Anything on the back-burner needing attention??? :idea: )
I've actually got something with way too many ideas, characters, and no plot, to make a cohesive story :roll: . I'm thinking now about just picking a few of the characters, devising an ending and maybe a couple of stops on the way, and then just letting my characters figure out how to get there (it seems to be working for this story <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ).

[b:m3nuucwk]GB[/b:m3nuucwk]
The best bit of advice I reckon I've heard is that if you want to be a writer, then just write. Quality is the aim, but quantity to begin with is better than nothing at all. You know, sitting around waiting for inspiration or something rarely works!

Odo
Chapter 7

By daybreak the storm had ebbed. The rain was light and the sun peeked through a few cloud-breaks. The Hobbits joined Gandalf and Elrond for breakfast. Galadriel and Celeborn were nowhere to be seen.

“Friends, you look well. Clearly Hobbits have exceptional constitutions. Good Morn to you both. Bilbo, ‘tis remarkable, we have not yet left the globe of Middle Earth nor shall we reach the Undying Lands for many weeks, and yet you grow younger by the day.” Elrond’s piercing gaze bore into Bilbo, then he smiled gently, softening his stern features.

“Yes indeed,” responded Bilbo, “This sea-air and new adventure have quite reinvigorated me.”
“And I expect your anticipation of what you may find in Valinor offers some measure of inspiration too, does it not?” Elrond was still smiling, but Frodo could have sworn he winked at Bilbo. Bilbo shifted uncomfortably and grimaced back at Elrond.
“Oh….erm…yes…Yes indeed. I’m…er…rather looking forward to the Gardens of Lorien (among other things).”
“You’ll need all your strength then Good Hobbit. Come, break your fast, and regain your vigour.”

Bilbo and Frodo needed no encouraging. They delved right into the piles of food in front of them; stacks of pancakes drenched in syrup and butter, porridge, honey, blackcurrants and cream, smoky rashers of bacon, sausage links, shredded fried potatoes, fried eggs, and thick slabs of buttery toasted bread, finished off with a flagon of steaming hot tea and cream.

Hunger satisfied, the Hobbits took their leave. It was still raining, but they had no desire to return to the cabin just yet, so they ambled about the decks exploring all the nooks and crannies of the ship. Frodo was now certain that the ship was bigger on the inside than out. After a couple of hours, they finally found themselves in a storeroom in the aft of the ship.

They each sat upon a stack of grain sacks facing the rear window. The rain and wind had picked up again, and the wake of the ship zigged and zagged up and down the surging swells. Moments later the Hobbits were busy devouring second breakfast. Frodo hurried through his corned beef sandwich, beef and mushroom pie, blueberry scone, and orange. He was anxious to prod some more of the story out of Bilbo.

After the Elf-Wine and Pipe-Weed, Bilbo returned to his tale.

“Let’s see now…where was I? Oh yes…ahem, harrum…Under the Oak-tree. That’s right. We woke up to a crisp, clear, icy morning. A few sips of the Miruvor rejuvenated our bodies and spirits, and we were finally able to move our frozen fingers. After a hasty kip of Lembas (I think I had five or six), hazel nuts, and some forest berries, we were off again.”

“An hour later we were out of the snow, and I couldn’t be happier to start warming up. I could hear a rushing sound in the distance that drew nearer as we clambered down the slope. We had to dismount and walk much of it, but down-hill is much quicker of course.”

“We passed around some rocky ledges and emerged around a copse of trees and there on our immediate right was an amazing sight, a magnificent triple Waterfall that began somewhere high above us. I looked down, but it was difficult to see past the jutting outcrops. The path through the rocks and trees switch-backed many times, and I was wondering when we would reach the bottom.”

“Finally, we came to a wooded plateau of sorts. Itaril and I worked our way through the trees, and there, there was an incredible view of the triple falls many hundreds of feet up as they cascaded straight down separately, then bounced off the rocks, until they one by one merged into one Waterfall.”

“The falls ended in a large pool on the plateau, mini rainbows forming where the sun hit the misty spray of the churning falls. Snapdragons, daisies, periwinkles, wild roses, lilies, more varieties of flowers than I can name adorned the Garden (for that is what it was, a Fantastic Magical Garden). Butterflies and Ladybirds flitted to and fro. Crabapples, Cherries, Pear trees and more were in full blossom, and as the light breeze showered petals down upon us the trees seemed to fill with more than there were before.”

“Opposite the falls, at the far end of the pool the water turned into rapids, as it tumbled and snaked down the rest of the slope into the Greenwood. More’s the pity there’s no such things as Unicorns, for if ever a Garden deserved one, this one did. There was no question that this was one of the most Sacred and Enchanted places on Middle-Earth outside of Lothlorien (though the gardens at the House of Elrond would have given them a run for the money).”

“’Iuan Aelin, The Enchanted Pool,’ said Itaril softly, her eyes shining with joy. ‘This is it Bilbo. Its waters can purify even broken spirits, but only those with Strong Hearts can bear it. Come, let us bathe and cleanse our bodies, souls, and spirits.’ All thoughts of modesty were banished. We stripped ourselves and entered the pool. I simply can’t describe the feeling Frodo. I could have burst with peace and gaiety. I tingled from head to toe. We washed, we splashed, and we romped. Our laughter rang through that little Sanctuary. And Itaril, oh Itaril, she was so beautiful. She seemed to embody every sensual joy of that Garden in her own body and spirit.”

“After what seemed a lifetime, we emerged from the pool. Without dressing we simply snuggled into our fur blankets and fell asleep in each others arms under a Great Willow. When we awoke that evening, the Garden was transformed into a Magical Grotto, bathed in Silver Moonlight and the light of a thousand Golden Fireflies. Oh, I could almost imagine they were tiny Fairies as told of in children’s stories.”

“We made love that night under the full moon, and thus sealed our Sacred Union.” Frodo gawked at his Uncle. Bilbo raised his eyebrows. “Yes it was passionate, and that’s all I’m telling you lad; a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell (well, not in detail anyway). You can just imagine how it went, if you must.”

Frodo just kept staring at Bilbo in amazement. For the first time in his life he was utterly speechless. Then, all of a sudden, the rest of the world came back into focus. Frodo grinned

“Uncle Bilbo, you mean that was it? And you were married? What about a ceremony or ritual? What happened after? Why have I never heard of Itaril before? You would have been the talk of Bag End, the whole Shire, if you’d come back with an Elf Wife.”

“Yes…um…well, why do you think they called me Elf-Friend?” muttered Bilbo turning crimson. “Anyway, slow down, you’re getting ahead of the story. You’ve only heard the beginning (well, chronologically speaking, the rest of the story might only just barely take as long to tell).

[b:31fgwrx7]GB[/b:31fgwrx7]
Bravo! 8-) 8-)

Odo
Brava! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> :lol: :mrgreen:
Thank You :mrgreen: . *takes a bow*

Part 1 of the story has turned out better than I expected. I hope the remaining chapters are just as gripping.

[b:1m7h83r5]GB[/b:1m7h83r5]
Chapter 8

Lunch was a hurried affair; Frodo was determined to get more answers from Bilbo. For a change of scenery, the Hobbits settled in a Life-boat under a tarp pulled back at one side so they could watch the waves. The rain pelted the tarp, sounding like a thousand drummers all drumming out of sync. But they were snug inside their fur-cloaks and full of Elf Wine (and Pipe Weed).

Frodo was torn between belief and skepticism. Bilbo’s story filled in a lot of gaps and rang with Truth, but it raised a new set of questions.
“I can’t believe the whole Shire would be in on a conspiracy to keep me in the dark Uncle. If you’d come home with Itaril, the Gaffer would’ve never let me hear the end of it. It would’ve been, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, chuckles, and ribbing about how my Uncle was so randy, that no Hobbit-Wife could satisfy him.” Bemused, Frodo eyed his Uncle as Bilbo responded.

“Hmmph! Well…I never quite told anyone the truth about Itaril. As far as anyone knew, she was my Personal Guard, a gift from the Elf-King for my services. And quite handy she came in, convincing the blighters at that auction to return my things when I got home (though my silver spoons were never returned, blasted Sackvilles).”

“My reputation was shot anyway, what with visits from Wizards and Dwarves and the occasional Elf. So no-one really questioned my ‘house-guest’ after a while. I was just that Rich Eccentric Hobbit who fraternized with ‘queer people’. Anyway, you’ve quite spoiled the flow of my story,” he admonished Frodo, a frown upon his face. But a twinkle in his eye indicated that Bilbo was amused nonetheless.

“Sorry Uncle,” smirked Frodo, “I’ll try my best to refrain, but this is really incredible. I can’t believe no-one has ever mentioned your ‘house-guest’ my entire life in the Shire.”
“Has anyone ever told you how annoying your persistence is my boy,” sighed Bilbo. “Still, a good sign of a Baggins that is, I suppose.” He said with a proud look on his face.

“Now, it’ll spoil the story if I tell too much now, but suffice it to say, for the moment, that by the time I adopted you, she was just one of my numerous past idiosyncracies, and no doubt was considered one of my many ‘Elf-friends’. It’s no wonder that none saw fit to differentiate between my short term visitors and substantially longer term house-guests. They were all ‘queer-folk’ as far as the other Hobbits were concerned, and spending far too much time with me as it was.”

This almost made sense to Frodo; and, thinking back, he could remember the Gaffer cackling at least once about an Elven lady ‘house-guest’. Frodo had just thought little of it at the time, chalking it up as one Bilbo’s many ‘queer’ visitors. The story was beginning to ring truer all the more. An odd thought flickered in the back of Frodo’s mind, but it hovered just out of reach. He shook his head clear.

“Alright Bilbo, you’ve convinced me for now. Please, continue the tale. I promise not to interrupt again…well, not too much that is.” He said with a grin.

“Yes, alright then.” Bilbo grumped. Then after a few relaxing puffs of Pipe-Weed he began again.

“Itaril and I spent a fortnight frolicking in the Sacred Garden at Enchanted Falls. It was one of the freest and happiest times of my life. I never wanted to leave that place. But our honeymoon soon came to an end.
‘We cannot stay here forever, Dear Bilbo,’ she said one day. ‘We must make a life for ourselves now. It will be difficult, as we cannot reveal the true nature of our relationship to anyone, least of all my Kin-Folk.’
‘Well, yes! I dare say I’d have a jolly hard time explaining it to mine as well come to think about it,’ I chuckled. ‘How shall we manage it then?’
‘I am your Personal Guard, bequeathed to you by Thranduil, King of the Woodland Elves, in gratitude for your services to Elfdom and the Northern peoples of Middle-Earth. No other explanation shall be necessary.’ I melted in her soft silvery-green gaze.”

“We were conversing thus, as we lay half-dressed, embracing in the rushes on the bank of the Sacred Pool. I caressed her cheek.
‘Works for me,’ I whispered, ‘I’m glad that’s settled then.’ And I kissed her deeply…then we made love again as the petals showered upon us, Butterflies flitted about, and songbirds serenaded our ardour. The rest of that day was spent in tranquil bliss, and we made the most of it well into the night.”

“The next morning we packed out our camp. We decided to stay off the roads, and headed directly West through the Forest. Mirkwood was becoming more and more the Greenwood it once was. We arrived unmolested at Beorn’s house a week later. We rested there several days, but I grew tired of Beorn’s smug look and his winks. Well, let him suspect what he wants I say, he was a good friend. And he stocked our victuals well for our journey across the Misty Mountains.”

“The view from the High Pass in the spring was resplendent. I could see all the way to The Lonely Mountain. I almost felt sorry for old Smaug. He really wasn’t such a bad sort (for a Dragon you know). He did have quite a bit of charm and wit. But he had a nasty habit of eating one’s friends and burning towns, so I suppose it was all for the best.”

“There were a few frightening moments amid the splendour. There were still a few Goblins left in the Mountains. But most were fearful and kept well away from us. Though, one evening as we made our way down the other side we came across a small group of them with a troll in the middle of the road.
’Make way,’ called out Itaril.
‘Or wot?’ snarled the biggest Orc, ‘Wot’s a pretty little Elf-Wench and a Halfling going to do? Tell you wot, give us a little fun Elf-Lass and we’ll waive the toll. Your rodent friend can watch if ‘e likes.’ I seethed with anger Frodo. I couldn’t let his churlish and uncouth remarks go unchallenged.”

“’Foul Beasts! Curb your salacious tongue and show some respect.’
‘Bilbo, no,’ Itaril hissed at me. ‘Let me deal with them.’ The Goblins laughed cruelly.
‘Wot? The Rat wants to challenge us? Or mebee ‘e’s just looking for a little fun for ‘imself.’
‘I Said Make Way.’ Shouted Itaril, ‘If you leave now, I’ll let you live, which is more than you deserve.’ The Goblins laughed even harder, slapping their sides with mirth.
‘Let us live, will ye? Oh, ho, ho, har, har, har. A little slip of a lass like you, barely bigger than ‘er pet Halfling? I’ll tell you wot we’ll do, We’ll ‘ave our fun with ye anyway, an’ if you satisfy us real well, we might not eat you for supper, but keep you as a pet until we tire of ye. Your rat will roast well on a spit though. That’s my final offer.’”

“’Well,’ began Itaril sweetly, ‘I’m sure it would be quite delightful, submissively satisfying your carnal urges…’
‘Oo said anything about submissive?’ yelled one of the other Goblins.
‘Yeah, we like it when they struggle and scream.’ Said another in a rather nasally voice. Itaril rolled her eyes.
‘…As I was saying, as enticing as that sounds, I cannot allow Master Hobbit to be eaten. Therefore, negotiations are OVER.’ And with that she galloped towards the scurvy crew, tossing me into a nearby tree.”

“Her sword flashed, and three of the Goblins fell dead, one of their heads rolling into the bushes. Just one stroke. She was incredible; what a warrior. The Troll charged her, roaring. Itaril thrust her sword through the roof of his open mouth, piercing what little brain he had. He fell gurgling to the ground and died. Jumping off the horse, she whirled around and caught the two Orcs approaching from behind in their midsections.”

“Two of the remaining Goblins ran for it, leaving the Chief to face Itaril alone.
‘Are ye sure Lass?’ He grinned. ‘A romp in the bushes might be fun, and I promise, ye can both pass without anymore bloodshed.’
‘Really, the bloodshed doesn’t bother me,’ answered Itaril coolly. And with one slash she lopped off his legs and then thrust her sword into his neck.”

“We found a nearby stream and followed it down-hill, until we were far away from the Goblin’s putrid stench. Itaril sniffed the air then put her ear to the ground.
‘We are safe now Bilbo. There are no more Orcs in these woods for a hundred miles at least. She began pulling off her clothes and bade me to do the same. We washed away the Goblin stink, and before I realized what was happening she had pulled me into a passionate embrace.”

“When we were finished, we dressed silently. I looked at her bemused by her sudden amourous turn. She blushed.
‘I’m sorry Bilbo. I hope my attentions weren’t unwanted. But that particular battle was…um…quite stimulating.’ I chuckled, suddenly understanding.
‘No, no, it’s quite alright Sweet Itaril. Your attentions shall never be unwanted by me. For goodness sake, I’m your husband my Beloved.’”

“We slept quite well that night. And the next Morning we made our way to Rivendell.” Bilbo pulled out his pocket-watch. “Tea time Frodo, come along.” He said as he clambered out of the boat into the pouring rain. Frodo shook his head groggily. Was it his imagination, or was Bilbo beginning to loosen up a little. Never could he remember Bilbo discussing anything more graphic than the Birds and the Bees with him. Oh, Bilbo hadn’t been explicit in any way, but for him, the story had become practically an admission of libertinism.

As they made their way to the galley to collect some Tea things, Frodo saw his Uncle through new eyes. This was a side of Bilbo he had never seen before. He suddenly realized that Bilbo was more than just his kindly old Uncle whom he loved very much; Bilbo was a person in his own right with desires and fears all of his own. He had been young, lived, loved (and apparently lost). Tears stung Frodo’s eyes as he wondered what heartbreak had caused Bilbo to lose his Beloved Itaril.

[b:1yxfmvn3]GB[/b:1yxfmvn3]

Well this chapter was a little more tawdry than I expected :oops: (but what else would you expect from Orcs <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> , and a Hobbit in love :roll: ). Anyway, I think I kept it about PG 13
That was excellent! You would make a fantastic Author, you story is just meticulous!
:mrgreen:
Thanks for the encouragement Istari :mrgreen: . I'm beginning to think that if I apply myself, I could see one of my "real" projects through when I'm finished with this. This has really been a cathartic experience.

[b:2fay62hn]GB[/b:2fay62hn]
Chapter 9

The Hobbits took their Tea to the cabin. Frodo ate his crabmeat sandwiches, pork pie, crisps, treacle tarts, chocolate chunk biscuits, and apple turnover in melancholy. He wished he’d known Lady Itaril, his Aunt. She would have become as much mother to Frodo as Bilbo had become his father. She had been everything—it seemed—to his Uncle; the Love of his Life. What had become of her?

Bilbo sensed his nephew’s mournful state. He thought he knew what was wrong.
“Cheer up Frodo my Dear Boy. There is more to this story yet. I spent many happy years with the Lady Itaril before…er…well let’s not get too far ahead again.”

“We were greeted warmly by Gandalf and Elrond (well as warmly as that Elf can be) when we finally reached Rivendell. Gandalf looked at us with that penetrating eye of his.
‘I do believe there is something different about you, my Good Hobbit; and Lady Itaril, there seems to be a glow about you I do not recall.’ As we both blushed, Elrond glanced at Gandalf pointedly.
‘It is not for us to second guess the Grace of Eru, Mithrandir. Let us not cause these two any more discomfort than they already bear.’
‘Indeed, Lord Elrond. I am merely delighted that my good friend has at last found his heart’s desire, and that the Lady Itaril has found that which she long has sought.’”

“What,” gasped Frodo, “How did they know? And Elrond was fine with it??? I mean—well—look at all the fuss over Aragorn and Arwen!”

“Yes, well of course they couldn’t ‘prove’ anything,” Bilbo chuckled, “But they are probably the wisest souls on Middle-Earth along with Galadriel. Gandalf knew what he was doing sending Itaril and I back into the Greenwood. And clearly a love such as ours is visible to those who can See. So they both pretended to look the other way, and Elrond gave us private quarters together.”

“As to Aragorn and Arwen; you have to realize Frodo, that as his daughter, Arwen caused Elrond a special dilemma. He loved his daughter dearly and wanted only that she should be happy, and he loved Aragorn almost as a son, but for her to choose Aragorn meant she had to choose a mortal life and would never reach the Undying Lands.”

“There was no such dilemma for him with Itaril and myself.”
“But this becoming mortal thing…” began a consternated Frodo.
“No-one knew then, what rules govern a Union of Elf and Hobbit. It had never happened before. It has been speculated that the Illustrious Yavanna Herself, was responsible for the existence of Hobbits, or that Eru had Himself actually created us as a diminutive form of Elf—but with the ‘blessing’ of mortality. It is not written, so we can only guess.”

“Also, Elrond holds no special grudge in his heart for Hobbits, though he can be at times dubious about the motivations of Men and Dwarves. Thus, Itaril and I enjoyed the special privilege of his unspoken Blessing.”

“Itaril and I spent a blissful week in Elrond’s House, serenaded by the Elve’s and joining in their merriment (though it was a much more staid sort of merriment than that of the Elves of the Greenwood—much less…erm…drunken carousing). It was more of a High Joy that they shared, contemplative, quiet, and reserved.”

“I fell in love with the beauty and peace of Rivendell, and Itaril and I would oft spend holidays there, as well as studies. We both shared a love for maps, languages, and lore, so we were well suited to each other on that score also.”

“But after a week of rest at Elrond’s House, Gandalf, Itaril, and I took our leave. The rest of our journey back the Shire was relatively uneventful, though, as you recall, we picked up the Stone Trolls gold along the way. We were once accosted by some more accursed Goblins, and once by Highwaymen, but Gandalf and Itaril made short work of those fools.”

“And, well, I’ve already told you how Itaril and I arrived at Bag End to find my belongings being auctioned off and the Sackvilles measuring my rooms. Well Gandalf and Itaril soon set things right, and forced the auctioneers to pay back the folk who had purchased my belongings in good faith. I gave the Sackville-Bagginses a quick boot, and they despised me even more than they had before.”

“I Thought you’d had to buy your things back Uncle Bilbo.” Frodo Proffered.
“No, no…That was a bit of artistic license Dear Frodo. It was necessary to alleviate any residual resentments that might be harboured towards interfering Wizards and Elves.”
“Oh, of course,” replied Frodo, nodding his head.

“Itaril taking up residence with me did cause quite a stir indeed at first. But the whole ‘Personal Guard’ cover worked quite well, especially after she demonstrated her authoritative command in settling that auction business. Grub, Grub, and Burrowes required her…um…gently persuasive techniques before they did the right thing.” Bilbo laughed at the memory. “From that time forth, I hired Messrs Gringol, Dingol, and Son to watch over my estate during my absence, with explicit instructions to never let the Sackvilles anywhere near my property.”

“Itaril and I spent many happy years there, in the privacy of my—our—home. Though we would travel frequently, searching for the magnificent parts of Middle-Earth in which explore our Passions. We had quite a few adventures that bear little relevance to this particular story, but suffice it to say, we righted more than a few wrongs and discovered some long Lost Artifacts and returned them to their rightful owners.”

The bell rang for supper at that moment, but Frodo, sensing the end of the story close at hand begged Bilbo to forgo the evening meal.

“What, two nights in a row? I think not Dear Boy. Come on, I’m famished.”
The Old Hobbit hopped out of his bunk. He really was beginning to look younger; his face less wrinkled, his hair darkening, and a spring in his step. Frodo wondered what sort of Magic was at work. He had never heard of anything like it, excepting in the fairy tale of a Magical Human who lived backwards through time.

[b:1dbh1po7]GB[/b:1dbh1po7]
Chapter 10

The Hobbits had returned to their cabin after supper, and after the obligatory Elf-Wine and Pipe-Weed, Frodo pressed his Uncle to finish the tale.

“I can see I’ll get no rest tonight if I save it for the morrow. Well, so be it Frodo. You may not get much sleep after you hear the rest of this now. But that is your choice. I, for one, shall sleep soundly having got this off my chest after not being able to tell anyone for 81 years.”

“In August of 2967, after 26 happy years together with itaril, Gandalf arrived with Legolas and a small company of Elves from Elrond’s House. I knew immediately that this was more than a social visit. Nevertheless, Itaril and I did our duty as hosts to this unexpected party (which couldn’t have been more different from the unexpected party that began all of my, and your, adventures). Despite the superficial cheer, it was evident that this would be a much more somber affair.”

“After a rather magnificent feast—Glazed Ham, Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Shire Puds, String Beans, Carrots, Broccoli, Buttery Crumpets and Farm Bread, Slabs of Cheshire Cheese, followed with a variety of cakes, pastries and fruit tarts—I served the finest Elf-Wine, which was from a case we had received as a gift from Galadriel.”

“The three Elves of Rivendell stepped outside after the meal to keep guard whilst Gandalf and Legolas brought us their grave news.
‘You must beware Lady Itaril and Bilbo, for Legolas has ill tidings from the Halls of Thranduil. Lord Andruil has fallen out with his father, the King. Before he was exiled from the House of Thranduil, he made many disturbing allegations about you two. Perhaps the story is best taken up by Legolas at this point.’”

“’Dear Bilbo, Lady Itaril, my news is doubly grave. Though my father publicly disavowed my half-brother Andruil’s accusations as Jealous Rantings, privately he nurses a desire to interrogate the truth from you both. He is troubled deeply that you may have violated Hallowed Ground, forbidden to all but Elf-Kind. Not to mention that he is disturbed that he may have granted you leave under deception Itaril.’”

“’And also, since my half-brother departed with a few of his allies, it has been rumoured that he seeks to avenge himself against you and Bilbo. He hopes to bring you before Thranduil and regain his favour at your expense.’ Itaril and I looked at each other in dismay. This was the worst news possible. I made to question Gandalf, but he put up his hand to forestall me.
‘Bilbo, Galadriel, Elrond and I have placed protective enchantments on the Shire and surrounding lands. As long as you do not venture beyond Bree you will be safe. But beyond that only your own wits and skills may save you.’”

“’I should mention that you still have many friends that you knew not amongst the Elves of the Greenwood, Lady Itaril.’ Legolas interjected. His gaze bore into her eyes, as if he could see her soul. ‘If you should need to venture there for any purpose send me a message by The Great Eagle, and I shall endeavour to provide some measure of protection.’
‘What would we need to come there for?’ I squeaked in fright. Itaril put a finger to my lips.
‘I will tell you after our guests depart Dear One.’ Then to Legolas she responded. ‘I can tell you right now we will need your help, Legolas son of Thranduil. Please ask the Eagles to keep watch for us in the Greenwood. It will take us some time to get there, and it will be dangerous to travel in winter. But we must make haste if we are to be there by Yule time.’”

“Of course, I was most distressed by the news that we would be leaving the safety of the Shire for some unknown purpose. But I held my tongue as we bade our guests farewell. Gandalf, sensing my terror leaned to hug me and whispered in my ear.
‘Fear not Bilbo, Itaril is more than a match for the dangers that face you, And I dare say you are quite up to the task yourself. However, my spies and the Eagles shall be watching for you and shall alert me if anything untoward should befall you. I can travel quickly to your aide f the need arises.’
‘Thank you Gandalf. Thank you so much. Your council has always brought me nothing but good fortune.’ I smiled at my wife as I said this.”

“We said our farewells; then Itaril and I retired to the settee in front of the crackling fire-place. Itaril saw my question hovering on my lips. She gave me one of her heart-melting smiles.
‘Bilbo, we must journey back to the Source. Under the Full Moon at Iuan Aelin we must conceive our child. For his Destiny is Great indeed, and only the Grace of Eru will ensure his conception.’”

Frodo goggled at Bilbo, mouth agape.
“Wh…wha…what…? I…you mean…,” sputtered Frodo, that odd thought he couldn’t quite form floating in his head again.
“Exactly my reaction, Dear Boy; but Itaril spoke no more of that. The next few days I giddily helped her prepare for the journey. We enjoyed the pleasures of hearth and home as much as possible in that time.”

“It was August 29th when we left Bag End. We made our way for Rivendell. Itaril had made me swear again to put on my Ring and stay out of danger should it befall us. We were in Rivendell by November 30th. Despite the heavy snows and our trepidation of strangers, our journey was relatively uneventful. We stopped again at Beorn’s January 4th, but only spent two days there.”

“From there we headed for the Old Forest Road. But from afar we spied a party of Elves guarding the entrance to the forest. There was nothing else to do but travel through the Hidden Paths that led us out of Mirkwood after we first married. It was treacherous going in the Snowy Woods, but we found ourselves at the first Mountain on the 20th.”

“The morning of the 21st we rounded the mountain. Itaril stopped up short behind a thicket and whispered to me to put on my Ring. Terrified, I complied immediately. She crept silently around the thicket until I could no longer see her. My heart thumped in my throat. I heard a cry, and without thinking I leapt from behind the thicket. I flooded with relief and took off the Ring. Legolas and two companions were greeting Itaril. Indeed, they were the same two Elves who had abandoned Andruil all those years ago.”

“They greeted us merrily, and feeling much better, we made our way to the Enchanted Falls. I was astonished when we reached the plateau of The Garden late afternoon. I had expected a wintry scene; instead, it looked just as I remembered it. As the sun set the blossoms, and flowers all became iridescent under the nearly full moon and the fireflies’ warm golden glow lit the way.”

“Legolas and his companions set up a perimeter at the edge of the glade, and Itaril and I continued to the shelter of the Great Willow we had camped under so long ago. It felt good to sleep in her arms again in that Hallowed place. The air was as warm as a late spring evening.”

“The next day dawned brightly to clear skies. Legolas met us at the edge of the Garden, and we broke fast with the Elves. Then we retreated back into the Grove. Itaril and I renewed our vows in the Pure Waters of the Enchanted Pool. We spent the day in glorious love-making and napped under the Willow. When we awoke under the Full Moon, we were once again transported by the Luminescent Garden, resuming our rapturous intimacy, and continuing well into the night. Our passions exhausted, we slept more soundly than I can ever recall.”

[b:22wngocp]GB[/b:22wngocp]
I knew about a lot of mysterious comings and goings, but Bilbo obviously kept his secrets close. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

We Bankses from Rushock Bog have heard tell of old Mad Baggins, (he was a queer one!), but I must say, at least on the surface of things, courting a beautiful elven warrior-maid would not seem mad at all. Then again, I'd be clearly thought mad if ever [i:uwb68lqt]I [/i:uwb68lqt] tried to woo such a lady myself! <img src='/images/smileys/sad.gif' border='0' alt='Sad Smilie' /> We are, of course, conservative hobbits up here in this Farthing.

And Istari, I agree with you (but old Beard already knows my opinion on that!)

Odo Banks

NB Rapturous intimacy? (Sounds saucy!)
:roll:
Very intriguing GB!!!!! especialy your food descriptions!!!
I'M HUNGRY FOR MORE!!!!!!!!
RE: "rapturous intimacy"--Do you know how hard it is to find synonyms for sex that aren't X-rated or sound like hormonal high school locker talk :roll: :lol: ? Thank the Goddess for Google <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

I learned long ago from CS Lewis, Tolkien, and Laura Ingalls Wilder (YES, I said Laura Ingalls Wilder :o ) that describing food was an almost instantaneous way to set a scene and make the reader feel inside the story.

Again, many thanks Odo, and Tinuviel 8-) .

[b:14zx0sl7]GB[/b:14zx0sl7]
Funny you should mention food, GB, as food (or lack of it) is one of my most abiding (and favorite) memories of The Hobbit (and, to a lesser dgree, The Lord of the Rings). In The Hobbit, Bilbo and Company often seemed to be in hunger, or plain starving. Oh gee! Boy did I do it tough with them in Mirkwood!

Sometimes I'd read late at night eating a sandwich and sipping a glass of milk (very slowly, though, making it last!); this as I lay in bed reading these books (and I read them many times - I was a bit more obessive in those far off days).

Also, I nibbled lembas too - even after it became a litle tiresome to eat, if you kow what I mean? (Actually it was cake, or a biscuit - but usually a sad 'dry' biscuit!!!!! Yes, sometimes I did it tough, my friends!)

Odo
You are a man after my own heart Odo 8-) . To this day, when I find a book or series that captures my imagination, I tend to read it obsessively :roll: . Invariably raiding the fridge at Three in the morning and reading till Dawn or Sleep, whichever comes first :lol: .

And Lo, the Final Chapters of The Adventures of Bilbo and Itaril:

Chapter 11

“The next day, we rejoined Legolas and his friends and together we made for Beorn’s. A week later Beorn was once again hosting us for the winter. In the safety of our cozy room by the glowing fire, Itaril took my hand and placed it on her abdomen, beaming broadly at me.
‘I know you will not be able to feel him yet Bilbo, but here inside me, our son already stirs.’ Tears of jubilation welled in my eyes; I had never believed that I would one day be a father.
‘My son,’ I whispered.”

“In that instant, I knew that Itaril and my unborn son’s safety must be my top concern. I could not allow Itaril to face any dangers alone. But we were safe for the time being under Beorn’s protection. By mid-March the snows began melting and it would soon be time to move on. Word was sent ahead to Rivendell to look for our arrival.”

“It was too early for Itaril to be showing, but her morning nausea evidenced her pregnancy. I fretted anxiously over her as we prepared to depart.
‘Try not to worry so Dear Bilbo,’ she told me with a tinkling laugh. ‘We Elf-Maidens are hardier than we look. And the sickness will pass in another few weeks. My own mother slew 100 Orcs the day she gave birth to me.’ If anything, her stoic attitude only increased my anxiety. I didn’t want her to battle one Goblin, to say nothing about 100. I just wished we were safe at home in the Shire.”

“Beorn assured me that the Eagles would watch over us as we traversed the High Pass, and would fly to our aid if necessary. Once in Rivendell, Elrond or Gandalf would provide an escort home. So all we had to do was make it over the Misty Mountains.”

“We had been two days on the trail; snow still lay deep as we approached the summit of the pass. The rays of the setting sun painted the clouds a copper red against the deepening blue of sky, reflecting off the snow to bathe us in an eerie reddish glow. Itaril and I set up camp under a craggy ledge that sheltered an area of bare ground amidst an alcove of rock. I couldn’t sleep a wink; Itaril seemed feverish and restless.”

“I heard the crunching of footsteps approaching some time after midnight. They sounded many. In fear for Itaril and my unborn son, I pulled the Ring from my pocket and slipped it on Itaril’s finger. And none too soon. That brigand Andruil stepped around the boulders just as I had pulled Sting from his scabbard. To this day I’m not certain if it was a trick of light, Sting was glowing brightly blue”

“’The Shire Rat,’ he snarled, ‘She can’t be far, Spread out and find her.’ He called out to his compatriots before addressing me. ‘So, you think to duel me Master Hobbit? How brave of you!’ He sneered. I circled around him, leading him out of the alcove.
‘It makes little difference to me, whether I bring you back dead or alive, rodent.’ I had hoped to heroically laugh off the miscreants pathetic insults, but my tongue got the better of me.
‘Is that why you got kicked out of the House of Thranduil?’ I mocked, ‘…Because of your seriously limited verbal skills? I’ve heard better insults from a Troll.’”

“He shrieked. That’s the absolute Truth Frodo. I couldn’t believe my ears. He shrieked exactly like a raging Goblin and lunged at me. Instinctively I parried his blow (apparently 26 years of training with an Elven Warrior Princess paid off). But he was faster than a Hobbit and recovered quickly, whirling to face me again.”

“I used my size to advantage and rolled under his next swing and right between his legs, slicing at his calf on the way through. Andruil grunted and fell to one knee, my blade pointing at his nose. He looked about for his comrades and opened his mouth to call them. Panicking, I interrupted, perhaps foolishly.
‘What? A fearless and mighty Warrior Elf such as you can’t handle a single Halfling by himself? If I were your acolyte, I’d think twice about following you.’ The juvenile taunt worked. He staggered to his feet and squared off against me.”

“Just as he was about to strike, a pair of arrows flew from nowhere and struck him in his shoulder (apparently he didn’t have a mithril shirt like myself). He screamed for his allies. And as seven Elves leapt over the boulders to his aid, there was a great beating of wings. Sensing defeat the bastard hurled something into the alcove behind me. Without thinking, I simultaneously leapt upon him sinking Sting into his chest. There was explosion, chaos, blood spraying.”

“When silence fell, the Elf was dead, his companions scattered to the winds. The Great Eagles blinking sadly.
‘Itaril,’ I yelled running through the lingering smoke to where I had last seen her. She slipped off the Ring and dropped it into my hands, her face ashen-grey. Her bow lay beside her. She had fired the arrows while wearing the Ring. But something was wrong, her pallor indicated shock and concussion from the blast.
‘Valiant Bilbo,’ she murmured. ‘My stalwart Hobbit, my Beloved…’ Itaril trailed off into unconsciousness. I wept profusely, holding her in my bloody arms.
‘Help me,’ I begged the Eagles, ‘She will not survive the night without the Magic of her kind.’ Now you well know yourself Frodo, the Eagles do not readily consent to be ridden like common livestock, being a proud species. But they will of their own volition help any they may deem worthy in the direst of circumstances.”

“Then and there, they lifted us into the air and flew at their greatest speed. An hour later we arrived in the courtyard of Elrond’s House, which was all astir and blazing with light. Elves rushed to carry Itaril and myself to the healing chambers. Sobbing, I brushed them off, and instead ran along side them as they gently but swiftly bore Itaril to a soft bed.”

“Elrond and Gandalf appeared at the door, their faces stricken with grief. Gandalf tenderly put his arms around me.
‘Come Bilbo, let’s get you sorted. Itaril is in good hands now. Elrond will do all he can for her.’
‘I can’t leave her Gandalf,’ I sobbed, ‘I must be with her till her last breath.’
‘Dear Bilbo, If it comes to that, you will be summoned to her bedside, but for now the Elves need to work without interference.’”

“Gandalf took me to wash up and change into soft robes and warm slippers. He stayed with me, comforting me while I waited for some sign. Finally dawn broke over the Mountains to the East, clear and Golden. None other than Glorfindel himself came to fetch me. Silently we hastened to Itaril’s chamber.”

“Elrond smiled sadly at me, and spoke softly.
‘She will live Bilbo, but she is gravely injured. I have done all that can be done in Middle-Earth…’
‘And the baby...’ I began.
‘The child within her is strong and healthy. But she must remain here to deliver him. And then…’ A single tear rolled down Elrond’s cheek. ‘I am sorry my friend—when the child has been born, Itaril must go to Valinor. Only in The Undying Lands in the Gardens of Lorien will she find complete healing.’”

“Oh Bilbo,” wept Frodo (who had been tearing up since Bilbo had mentioned Itaril’s injuries), comprehension dawning on him. “So that is who you hope to see again in Valinor. Why did you never tell me before? I’m so sorry Uncle…”
“Sssh Frodo, its alright dear boy, I shall be with my Itaril again, and there is a bit more left to tell. The most important bit, really.”

“I stayed in Rivendell with Itaril that spring and summer. Our time together was bittersweet. We laughed and cried together, walked and snuggled together, talked and sang together. I thought then, it would be the last I would ever see of my Itaril. Only recently, since the End of the War, and since you and I had been granted passage to The Undying Lands, did I begin to hope again. Fifty Four years have I waited for this possibility.”

“As the months passed, her belly grew round. I felt my son’s first kick. A real fighter I thought, just like his mother.”
“And his father…” interjected Frodo.
“Eh? I suppose you’re right Dear Boy, though I never considered myself such. The leaves turned red, orange and golden as autumn began. Finally, in late September the date drew near.”

Something clicked in Frodo’s brain; somehow he knew what Bilbo would say next. He caught his breath.

“And on September 22nd in the year 2968 of the Third Age, my son was born. And I named him Frodo.” Frodo leapt from his bunk, tears streaming down his face now. He embraced Bilbo and held him tightly.

“I knew it.” He whispered, “Somehow I’ve always known Bilbo—Father, deep down inside. That’s why you’ve always claimed me as your ‘favourite’ relative.” After a few minutes Frodo released Bilbo and sat back on his bunk.

“But why, why did you leave me with Drogo and Primula?”
“I hated it. But it was best for both our sakes Frodo. I was already considered eccentric, but if anyone had found out that Itaril and I were actually married and that you were Half-Elven, we would have been booted from the Shire. If it had only been me, and it had come to that, I could have lived with it. But not for you my Son, not for you. You needed the nurturing warmth of the Shire.”

“And even today, as much as you know you don’t belong there anymore, look how you still miss it. Drogo was the only cousin I could trust. He and Primula had tried for a child without success for years. Primula was quite plump, and no-one would ever question her claim to have borne you. My only regret was that I didn’t adopt you sooner after the boating accident. You seemed quite happy in Brandy Hall, and after their death you supped with me daily in any case.”

“And look at you my Boy. Look at what you’ve accomplished. A father could never be prouder.”
“I should have guessed long ago,” Frodo sighed. “I can eat like a Hobbit and yet I’m as slender as an Elf.”
“And almost as tall,” chuckled Bilbo. “Well at least almost as tall as your mother (who I admit was rather short for an Elf).”



Epilogue

And so it was that Bilbo and Frodo sailed to The Undying Lands as father and son. By the time they reached Tol Erresea, the years had fallen away from Bilbo, and he looked again like a 50 year young Hobbit. Elrond and Gandalf took the pair to the mainland to meet Manwe.

Though it was not within his power to bestow, Manwe had petitioned Eru Illuvatar, and He had granted the Hobbits a special dispensation for bearing the One Ring—and thus Sauron—to Doom. In all the Millennia, none other had been up to the task. Frodo being Half-Elven was allowed to choose an Immortal life. And Bilbo—Elf-friend—was granted status as ‘honourary’ Elf, and an immortal life. For Hobbits—being of Stout Heart—could bear it.

Bilbo and Frodo then traveled to the Gardens of Lorien; and there awaiting her Beloved, was Itaril, as radiant and full of life as the day Bilbo first met her. And thus, the Baggins family was made whole, to enjoy the delights of Valinor for Eternity.

And having come to know his True mother, and thus discovering the roots of his destiny, Frodo finally was whole. And he eventually came to marry Astarte, daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn.

“So that’s why Galadriel always looked at me like that.” Frodo mused on his wedding night.


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So that's it for now. Though some of you may have noticed I left room for possible "sequels" <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> , regarding the Adventures of Bilbo and Itaril during their 26 years together in Middle-Earth "righting wrongs and returning long Lost Artifacts to their rightful owners".

[b:13ebk2jz]GB[/b:13ebk2jz]
Well you could knock me down with a feather. It amazes me that I have read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion numerous times, but I still have such gaps in my knowledge of what really happened! I even read The History of the Hobbit (in the last two weeks) and caught not a hint of this.

Perhaps you should have written The History of the Hobbit, GB. Obviously your skill as Historian and researcher is excellent, what with your keen eye for hint and detail that everyone else has missed!

My God! Clearly there was a cover up. For your text makes it plain that plenty of Elves knew of this. Was there a cover-up because of embarrassment, or was it for some other deeper purpose?

I must say, it was almost like you yourself were on that boat to Valinor, for how else could you know so much?

GB - who actually [i:1uxa5j68]are [/i:1uxa5j68]you? :?: :?: :?:


Odo

NB [i:1uxa5j68]Gandalf's Beard[/i:1uxa5j68], if my memory serves me correctly, was attached to [i:1uxa5j68]Gandalf[/i:1uxa5j68], wasn't it? :shock:
Deeper Purposes of course <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . Some of the key Elves could read the Signs of Providence better than others. They didn't necessarily know all the details or why, but they read the signs that had marked Itaril, Bilbo and their bloodline for Destiny. Elrond, Galadriel and Legolas, were the Elves most conscious of the necessity for protecting Itaril and Bilbo's secret (though they didn't know why until Gandalf discovered the secret of Bilbo's Ring). Thranduil just favoured Itaril because he had the hots for her :roll: , and would have at the very least liked her as a daughter-in-law. He didn't have a clue about her Destiny. And he could be temperamental, bigoted, and unpredictable and would most certainly too embarrassed to have a member of his House mate with a Hobbit. And Gandalf was a Wizard of deep Insight and Compassion, something Saruman lacked.

It's really interesting how certain clues, and odd gaps in Tolkien's original work actually point this direction. I suppose he was so focused on translating the available texts, that he missed some of the obvious signs. But he was constantly updating, as he gleaned new information from different versions of the texts, and furthered his understanding of the languages of Middle-Earth. No doubt he would have eventually discovered the truth himself :ugeek: .

This text would not have been possible if not for Tolkien's discoveries of our ancient past. It would have had no meaning in and of itself. And yes, you've outed me :lol: . I am a reincarnation of the Wise One's Whiskers. Someone has to lay the Groundwork for the Archaic Revival <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

[b:2fzac1vn]GB[/b:2fzac1vn]
I posted my story at FanFiction.Net. No reviews yet, but I got 6 hits: 3 from the US, and 1 each from The Netherlands, Australia, and the UK 8-) .

[b:3iq7sb0x]GB[/b:3iq7sb0x]
I hate to say it, but I suspect old T was covering up a bit. He was pretty conservative. I fear he did not think it appropriate that a rustic Halfling would be a suitable partner for an Elvish Maiden, even if T had affection for Bilbo. It's a question of one's place in the social hierarchy, I believe. (Sad, really, because T was generally a tolerant sort!)

As to this Fan.Fiction.Net business you mentioned. Do you think I might throw The LotRized Hobbit there? And is it an easy thing to do,if you're largely computer illiterate? (And does it involve any dark rites, or selling of souls [or bodies], or letting of blood, or the doing of anything [i:tycsrge1]unnatural[/i:tycsrge1]!)

Odo
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