Freesia began to panic, thinking about the orcish man she had seen. She knew from Frodo’s story what it meant when a sword glowed blue. But Sting is still in the possession of the Shire. The only other swords she knew of that could glow were Orcrist and Glamdring. Glamdring was Gandalf’s sword and Orcrist was Thorin Oakenshield’s.
Who was this man and whose sword does he have?
The man noticed Freesia looking at him and immediately jumped up. Freesia worried that he had seen the look of recognition on her face and would come after her. He began to walk, she couldn’t see where he was going because he slipped into the crowd. She started to walk back to the innkeeper, hoping she would be able to go to her room before the man caught her.
She was only half way there when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She jumped. Turning around, she saw that it was the man. He grabbed her shoulder and pulled her along with him toward a back hallway.
Once they were out of earshot to the lobby, the man lifted off his hood. This was far too much like Frodo’s story to be a coincidence. The man’s hair was very unusual. It was cut very short, so short Freesia wasn’t sure how he got it that way. It was no wonder he wore a hood. Freesia noticed that there was just the slightest point in the man’s ears. Not enough to be anything but a man, but men don’t have ears like that.
“Who are you?” they both asked simultaneously.
Freesia spoke first, “What do you mean ‘who am I,’ you are the one who dragged me back here. I’m just a simple hobbit that is stopping by for the night.” The man was surprised at her aggressiveness.
“Well, how ’bout you tell me how you recognized my blade?” he said. Freesia wasn’t sure how to answer. So she just went ahead and told the truth.
“I read about it. My ancestor, Samwise Gamgee had a book that was written by Frodo and Bilbo Baggins about their adventures. Bilbo saw that blade, although I’m not sure which one it is.”
“Orcrist.” he said almost automatically.
“How do you have it?” Freesia asked.
“I do believe that is not your business.” he said.
“I do believe that my recognition of the blade is not yours.” she retorted.
“Very well. If you must know it came to me by my ancestor’s good friend. It was given to him by his relative, Dain Ironfoot, who inherited it from Thorin Oakenshield.” Freesia became excited about the matter. This, too, was suspected by the man.
“Oh dear, how delightful! I had always wanted to see the relics of the stories for my own eyes! Would you mind if I had a look at it?” she said.
The man was slightly taken aback. Nonetheless, he unsheathed the blade and let Freesia have a look.
“Oh wow! It is just as Old Bilbo had described! Oh how I wish I could have met the old hobbit, he passed Old Took, you know, who had once been the hobbit that lived longer than any other. Of course, he did have the ring that made him live longer and he–”
“Ring? What ring?” he asked.
“Oh, you must know the tale of how Frodo Baggins destroyed the One Ring to rule them all!” she said.
“Yes, of course I do. But you must tell me about this old Bilbo. I had heard the tale of the ring’s destruction, but how did this hobbit fellow come by it?”
Surely he couldn’t be serious! She had thought.
“Well! Bilbo Baggins found the ring while trapped in the goblin kingdom in the Misty Mountains! While down there, an odd little creature called Gollum threatened to eat the poor hobbit. They had a game of riddles, and thanks to that little trinket, or so he had called it at the time, Bilbo won the riddle game. Gollum did not like this, however, and he betrayed their deal, which was for Gollum to lead Bilbo out of the caves. When he ran off, he tripped and the ring slipped onto his finger, causing him to disappear! And that is how Old Gandalf discovered that the “trinket” was actually the One Ring of power!”
“You are quite smart for a small thing, aren’t you?” he said.
“Pardon me, but I take offense to that!” she said. Again the man looked taken aback. “Wait a moment, if that blade is glowing, that should mean an orc is nearby!” Freesia exclaimed. “But all the orcs were destroyed. How can that be glowing?”
“Have you not heard? If you have not heard, surely you have seen the creatures that have been wandering about.” he said.
“Of course!” Freesia said, “What was that awful thing? It chased me all the way here to Bree! I had been worried Bree was no longer a hospitable place.”
“Those are not orcs. They are Scars.”
“Yes, I have heard the term.”
“Scars are like orcs in only one way. They were tortured to become what they are now. Only, they weren’t once elves, they were once men. That is why I am here. If men are being tortured, then that means there is an evil on this earth that is creating monsters of my people. Or my ancestor’s people I should say.”
“You keep going on about your ancestors. Who are they?” Freesia asked.
“Well, my name is Eoborn. My ancestor is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is why my ears are pointed slightly. He did marry an elf, after all.”
“Oh! That is marvelous! To think that I would ever meet a descendant of the great king Aragorn! And that you are related to Elrond as well! It must be a lovely title to have!”
“It would seem so. However, I fear there is evil in the heart of Gondor. Had things gone rightly, I would have been king of Gondor. But seeing as I am part elf, the people of Gondor suddenly decided to make a purely man royal line. They didn’t want any elf mixed in. I don’t see how this is a problem, seeing as I hold the last bit of elf to ever walk the earth. I don’t see how I could have been a threat to the royal line.”
“How terrible!” Freesia said, “That does indeed sound as though someone is desperately grasping for the throne. Perhaps you are right about there being evil there. Only a man hungry for power would be so desperate to do such a thing.”
“That gives me a great deal of reassurance to know I am not the only one to think so. Even if you are just a little hobbit girl.” Freesia raised an eyebrow at him, who smiled ever so slightly.
“If this is the problem, why are you here? You said that that is what led you here.” Freesia asked.
“It’s funny you, of all people to run in to, mention this. I too had read about the story of Frodo Baggins and discovered how Frodo had come to be part of the story. Gandalf, the wisest wizard that walked middle earth, had said something about the strength of those with the smallest stature. I thought that perhaps, in order to claim my throne, I would need someone of a sort like that. So I came here, on my way to the Shire, to find someone to share in my adventure.”
Freesia’s eyes widened with surprise. An adventure? Please do not ask me to come!