Chapter 4. LOTR
It was such a small thing… such a small thing, and yet it drew him to it as if magnetically. It was a curious thing, to be so taken with something so seemingly insignificant. Not a sensation that he was used to. But then, he supposed, this could hardly be just any ordinary little trinket. Not when it came from… he shuddered at the thought, looking up from his thoughts into the treetops above. Had he been wrong to take this, after all? Perhaps his advisor had been correct in his initial assumption; it had been a risk coming to this blackened land in the first place, and accepting a gift from its lord could be the ultimate danger. But it didn’t look like a dangerous thing… in fact, its beauty outshone even the finest elven craft rings he had seen in his time.
Nenya, it was called, as he had been told. Such a tasteful name, the ring of water. It was made of mithril, a material lighter than air and tougher than any metal, and it was topped with a stone so bright it could light the sky. From a distance, he wondered, would it seem to the naked eye as a star descended from the heavens? But despite its beauty, Frond could not shake the feeling that this ring had a power deep within it, a power that he was not certain he would be able to control should the need arise. And still beneath this was the feeling that this ring was not ultimately meant for him. If there was anyone in the world who was meant to wield this, to wear it and learn to control it, he would not be the one with either the will or the capability. He thought that perhaps the dark one had forged this ring for himself in the first place. But that made no sense. The ring-maker had already possessed a ring, and from that little band, he had felt more great and terrible power than could ever be concentrated in something so beautiful as his own ring.
A cool breeze brushed past him as he sat, drawing his eyes from the dark clouds and back down to the ring resting regally on his finger. In the darkness, it seemed as though the thing radiated its own light, nearly enough to show him the way home in the blackness. But he could not return home, not just yet. First there was business to attend to. Decisions to be made, and questions to be answered. Not the least of which was what in the world he was going to do with this ring. Somewhere in his mind, he knew that he was not the one to hold it. And yet, his heart was loath to give it up. Such great beauty was not to be thrown aside so easily. No, he would keep it, if only for a while. After all, it had been given to him, and no one else…
A sudden paranoia seized him, and Frond slid from the stump where he sat, doubling over and clutching the ring to himself. No, it was definitely not the time to give it up yet. He would wait until he found the right person to take it, and then… A strange expression passed over his face, and he found himself wondering, thinking… would he give it up? Why should he, after all? It was a stupid, trivial notion, really… if someone wanted to give him such a wonderful gift, it would simply be wrong of him not to accept it… not to keep it for his own, treasure it as the most valuable thing in the world… for all he knew, that was what it was. And it was his. No one else’s. It was his precious…
As if a message from a higher power, the sky opened up. Frond blinked, startled, as the first drops woke him from his reverie. Looking around him, it took him more than a few seconds to realize exactly where he was. When he did, he found himself nearly on the ground, the ring held protectively close to him. His heart was still beating erratically with the adrenaline he had felt just seconds ago. What on earth…?
With an electric shock of panic, Frond tore Nenya from his finger, throwing it to the ground and gaping down at it. What was this doing to him? He had been in possession of this thing for less than three days, and already, it was taking a hold on him. He had been right. He had never been the one meant to handle this ring. Carefully, Frond bent down to retrieve the little band, slipping it into his bag instead of on his person. What taste of contact with the ring he had had, he had not relished, and he was not eager to repeat the episode he had just experienced. No. He would have to find someone else, someone far stronger than he. And as the first rumble of thunder sounded above the hissing rain, it clicked. There was someone, after all, perhaps… He smiled. He was ready to return the next morning, finally. At the morning’s first light, he would rise and go to Lothlorien.