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Welcome! This is a Lord of the Rings roleplaying game based on the trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (book verse).

Frodo and Sam failed in their quest to destroy the one ring. It is lost in Mordor, and the two Hobbits had no choice but to turn back. The fate of Middle Earth once more is undecided.

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One Ring to rule them all..
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Jun 14 2015, 22:40

This is the thread that will culminate in the Secret Council which will decide to form the Decoy and Strike Teams.

The thread is now up to the morning of TA 3019, April 18, the day when Gandalf and Friends will decide to convene the council, so everyone who would be at the Secret Council please jump in. Gandalf, Faramir, Legolas, Gimli, and Elrohir specifically will all be at the council.

Any questions about this thread or ideas for how to enter – ask them here! smile.gif

Dec 3 2014, 21:49

Pooka, do you think Sam and Frodo could become friends with your halfway-to-a-giant-tall Citadel guard? smile.gif

Oct 19 2014, 00:31

I'm trying to switch to a different thumbie, but it won't let me. I must be doing it wrong?

Under "Edit Avatar Settings" I've tried "Remove Avatar" (for this current one), then browsing for the new file, "Upload Avatar" --- and it puts this current one back no matter which new file I choose. What am I doing wrong?

May 25 2014, 23:10
full name: Samwise Gamgee
date of birth: April 6, 2980 of the Third Age (age 39 at the Battle of the Pellenor)
home: Bagshot Row in Hobbiton in The Shire
species: Hobbit
occupation: gardener & personal servant to Frodo Baggins

general appearance:
Rustic and humble in speech and clothing, reflecting his lower-class social status in the Shire. His breeches, waistcoat, and jacket are of working-class fabrics in browns, greys, and muted blue. He is of stocky build, but quite strong and sturdy. Sandy blonde hair rather less curly than many Hobbits, medium blue-grey eyes, and tanned skin.

distinguishing features
His stocky build, humble though staunchly loyal demeanor, and plain manner of speech (in contrast to Frodo, Merry, and Pippin)

likes/dislikes/strengths/weaknesses/bad habits:

Physical strengths: He is a very good cook (by Hobbit standards). Quite strong and study, which bely his foot speed. Able to run fast even with a heavy pack on his shoulders (though hurdling obstacles is quite another matter). Skillful at tying knots. His bravery in battle only really shines when he is defending his friends, and then he can be fierce. His only proper weapon is a barrow blade (like a short sword), though he’ll make do with anything that can hit hard (a skillet, club, etc.). He has an excellent arm for throwing rocks.

Physical weaknesses: Fear of heights, fear of swimming or boating (he can barely swim, if at all). Even were he not skittish of heights, climbing (up or down) is not his forte either.

Character strengths:
He is generous, hard working, decent and humble of heart. He does not desire to be great or famous. He is content to serve Mr. Frodo and live a simple life. There are few avenues by which to tempt him into serious corruption, and what those avenues are Sam himself is unaware (or could not express in words). He is generally even-tempered and peaceable, though staunchly (even fiercely) protective of his friends or any innocent people (especially the weak or vulnerable) if they are threatened or mistreated.

Of all the Ringbearers, only Bilbo and Sam gave away the Ring by their own willpower, and only Sam gave it away without great difficulty (though Frodo offered to give it first to Gandalf, then to Lady Galadriel). When the Ring tried to tempt Sam with visions of fame, Sam quickly rejected the temptation because he had no desire to be grand in any way. Before the Ring found some other way to tempt him, Sam returned it to Frodo.

Character weaknesses:
Usually shy around women (of any race). He hardly trusts himself to lead, lacking confidence in his own judgment (though by the time he and Frodo near Mordor, his confidence has improved somewhat, though he still defers to Frodo). He is rather slow to trust strangers. If anyone threatens or tries to hurt Frodo Baggins (especially) or any of his other friends, Sam may be slow to forgive and take even longer to trust that person. He can be stubborn (which is sometimes really a problem). He has some tendency toward superstition (though most of that comes from ignorance). Being of a lower class, he is less educated and well-informed than Frodo, Merry, and Pippin.

Bad Habits:
When very stressed, physically uncomfortable or very bored, he'll reach for food (if he can get something decent) just to feel better.

Good food and ale. Good pipeweed. Well-tilled earth, flourishing gardens and crops, and all healthy growing plant life. Music, dancing, and cheer (Hobbit style, mainly). Children. History and lore, especially that which features Elves.

Most especially of all, he dislikes anyone who threatens or tries to hurt Frodo Baggins. It is not easy for him to forgive such an offense. He dislikes being away from home for long stretches of time. He would be devastated if any real harm were to befall his beloved Shire. He hates for the weak and vulnerable to be threatened or taken advantage of.

One of my favorite quotes by Sam (and very typical of his personality):
"We shouldn't be here at all, if we'd known more about it before we started. But I suppose it's often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten."
The Two Towers, "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol"

The youngest child of Hamfast “The Gaffer” and Bell Gamgee. He has two brothers (Hamson and Halfred) and three sisters (Daisy, May, and Marigold). Sam is the only one who still lives with his father, and the two are close. None of the rest of his family live near Hobbiton anymore.

other important people:
Master Bilbo Baggins (his teacher and eventual employer)

Mr. Frodo Baggins (eventual employer and also dear friend, despite being 12 years older than Sam)

Rosie Cotton (The Hobbit lass he’s long been in love with. He has made up his mind that when he gets home, he will ask Rosie to marry him.)

Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took (long-time friends, though not close friends until they were in The Fellowship of The Ring together)

All other members of The Fellowship (Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Boromir, Gimli)

Lord Faramir (who aided them just before they entered Mordor, and resisted the temptation to steal the Ring from Frodo)

Robin Smallburrow (a Shirriff in the Shire, a long-time friend)

Sam belonged to the lower class of Hobbits (Bilbo and Frodo Baggins being of the gentry class), but he had been close to them all his life. His Gaffer had long served Master Bilbo Baggins as his gardener, and Sam grew up helping and learning the same trade (at which he proved very gifted). Master Bilbo generously taught Sam his letters and also many poems and tales of Elves and History and Adventures, instilling in Sam an abiding curiosity about Wonders and Elves and the Elven lands. Frodo, Bilbo’s “nephew,” lived in Bag End from the time Sam was 9 years old. Sam was 12 years younger and a servant, but still the two youngsters developed a great friendship.

Sam was the youngest child by quite a few years. His mother died of illness while he was growing up. His older sisters all married and settled in distant parts of the Shire. His older brothers preferred farming to gardening, which was why they also moved away from Hobbiton. That left the Gaffer alone in their humble but comfortable smial on Bagshot Row, except for Sam. Not only was Sam unwilling for his Dad to live all alone there, Sam was the opposite of his brothers – a gardener, not a farmer. He grew up very contentedly tending both their own little garden and the wonderful large gardens just up the hill at Bag End. Both gardens flourished under Sam and his Gaffer, and life was good!

By the time Master Bilbo departed to live in Rivendell, Sam had inherited the job at Bag End from his aging Gaffer and was also one of Mr. Frodo’s best friends (though still seeing himself more as Frodo’s servant). Sam was very fiercely loyal to Mr. Frodo (as he called him). Frodo’s cousins, Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took, were two more of Frodo’s best friends and often visited Bag End, so Sam was friends of a sort with them also.

He had long been deeply smitten with love for Rosie Cotton, a bright, gracious, unusually pretty, golden-haired Hobbit lass who worked at an inn in Hobbiton. Unfortunately, Sam was simply too shy to work up the nerve to try and woo her before Gandalf made him accompany Frodo on the Quest to Mount Doom.

It was 17 years after Bilbo disappeared from the Shire that Gandalf returned, stayed at Bag End as Frodo’s guest, and the two had some curious long talks. Sam was both very curious and increasingly worried that there might be trouble in the air, so he eavesdropped outside Frodo’s window one morning (under the ruse of trimming the grass). He overheard them talking about a Dark Lord of terrible power and evil, something about the Dark Lord’s magic ring that Frodo possessed, terrible danger, and alarming things of that nature. Sam didn’t understand it very well, but grew so absorbed by the conversation that he quite forgot to keep trimming the grass. Finally, on hearing that his master and dear friend Frodo was going to have to leave the Shire, Sam let out a cry of distress. Not a loud cry, but Gandalf being so alert and keen of ear, Sam got caught eavesdropping. As punishment (partly, as it seemed that was not Gandalf’s sole reason), Gandalf made Sam promise to accompany Frodo on his journey. “Don’t you lose him, Samwise Gamgee!” Gandalf solemnly charged him. In hindsight, that promise was one of the most pivotal in Sam’s entire life.

It was painful for Sam, playing along with the charade Frodo had to perform in Hobbiton, worst of all selling Bag End (which by then Sam loved and cherished nearly as much as Frodo) to the strongly disliked Sackville-Baggins, and preparing to move to a small home in Buckland nearish the eastern border of the Shire, as the first step to leaving the Shire completely. Frodo and Sam had thought they were the only two who knew their secret plan, but found out that Merry and Pippin had long since figured out their secret. Frodo then brought those two rascal friends along to Bree (which was on the way to Rivendell, where Gandalf had advised Frodo to bring the Ring).

The four Hobbits were forced to leave Frodo’s new home in Buckland within hours of arriving, as they were hunted by a group of terrifying Black Riders. They encountered some Elves in the Shire also, but no one was able to tell Frodo much about the Black Riders. Despite a series of harrowing adventures (including acquiring the barrow blades that each Hobbit carried thereafter), they succeeded in reaching the town of Bree before the Black Riders caught up to them.

Only just before. They found the Prancing Pony Inn, where they hoped Gandalf would meet them, but he did not come. Instead they met a mysterious Ranger called Strider, whom Gandalf had charged with guiding them the rest of the way to Rivendell. Strider knew who and what the Black Riders were and, warned by Frodo’s tale of their close encounter, hid the four Hobbits in his own room where the Nazgul would not expect them to be. That was extremely fortunate, since several Nazgul soon attacked the Hobbit lodgings on the ground floor of the inn. The next day Sam managed to acquire a forlorn, mistreated pony from a wicked spy in Bree, and Bill the Pony happily carried many of their supplies, bonding to Sam rather like a loyal puppy.

Sam didn’t really trust Strider, and worried that Frodo seemed to trust him so much, but he had no choice but to go along with the group, and so he did without complaint. He concentrated on taking care of Frodo (and the pony).

Strider led the Hobbits through the miserable Midgewater Marshes and on to the ancient watch-hill Weathertop. While camping on Weathertop, 5 of the 9 Nazgul attacked again. Frodo made the mistake of putting on the Ring in hopes of escaping, but that ended badly when the Witch-King stabbed him in the shoulder with a Morgul-blade. If not healed, Frodo would soon become a wraith under the Nazgul’s control. Strider, although a highly gifted healer, was unequal to healing Frodo’s Morgul wound.

Strider was able to drive the Nazgul away with fiery torches and great swordsmanship, and that was when Sam finally really trusted him. Sam was horribly worried about his master and best friend, who was near death and worsening by the hour with a strange illness that was turning his very flesh cold. In their direst need, an Elf-lord named Glorfindel found them and carried Frodo on his horse the rest of the way to Rivendell, the home of the great Lord Elrond. All 9 Nazgul chased Glorfindel and Frodo (and were then defeated for awhile by a great flood Lord Elrond caused). This allowed Strider to lead Sam, Merry, and Pippin to Rivendell also, where they rejoined Frodo.

Lord Elrond’s skill healed Frodo’s wound (Sam did not understand until at least a year later that “heal” was a relative term, since a Morgul wound would never cease troubling Frodo as long as he remained in Middle-earth). While Frodo recuperated in Lord Elrond’s house (and for a little while after), Sam got his long-dreamed-of wish to meet Elves and explore their home. He learned none of their language, but loved hearing their songs and tales. Happiest of all, though, was Frodo’s return to health.

Gandalf rejoined them in Rivendell, and Sam was as delighted as his friends to meet Master Bilbo Baggins again. Sam was a bit startled at first by how much Bilbo seemed to have aged in the past 17 years, when the last time he’d seen Bilbo he had been 111 but hardly seemed older than 80. Sam didn’t give it much thought, though, figuring that age caught up with everyone later if not sooner. After all, Bilbo was not the first Hobbit to have attained such an age, though it was rare. He never guessed it was connected to the One Ring.

It happened while they were in Rivendell that members of the other major Free Peoples (Mirkwood, Erebor, and Gondor especially) also arrived in Rivendell, each to fulfill his own important purpose, so Lord Elrond convened a Great Council including all of them plus Frodo, Gandalf, and Strider (since it seemed that all their purposes were connected). Sam was not invited, of course, but uneasy about being left in the dark about this Council which Frodo attended, Sam eavesdropped on the latter part of the discussion. At this Council of Elrond was discussed the history of all the Rings of Power and especially the One Ring which Frodo still carried. (Sam missed most of it, since it went on for many many hours, but still he learned much that he had not even guessed before, though as yet he understood far less than Mr. Frodo).

What this sometimes hotly argumentative Council boiled down to (as Sam thought) was that Frodo’s Ring had to be carried to Mordor and there destroyed. Sam thought destroying it was a good idea, since that Ring had already nearly gotten Frodo killed, and then they could go home to the Shire and be happy again. But Sam’s hopes were ruined when a heated argument broke out over who should bear the Ring to Mordor and Frodo ended it by volunteering.

Again he got caught eavesdropping, but this time he insisted on accompanying Frodo on his quest, absolutely insisted! He knew it was going to be a long, hard journey, and very dangerous (though he utterly failed to imagine the magnitude of the quest), but anywhere Mr. Frodo had to go, Sam would go too. He wasn’t just keeping his solemn promise made to Gandalf on that fateful day at Bag End, it was also his great friendship and loyalty for Mr. Frodo.

Lord Elrond and Gandalf decided that Frodo would need a group to guide and defend him on the Quest to Mount Doom, thus Sam became a member of the Fellowship of the Ring along with Gandalf, Strider the Ranger, Legolas of Mirkwood, Boromir of Gondor, Gimli of the Dwarves, Merry and Pippin.

It was on December 25 that the Fellowship set out from Rivendell, well rested from their sojourn and led by Gandalf the Grey. Sam led the by then healthy and fit Bill the Pony, which was a great help in carrying the 9 travelers’ supplies since they trekked on foot. Most of Sam’s time was spent in watching to see that Mr. Frodo fared well, packing and unpacking the pony and tending to its health, and cooking for the group. All the Hobbits also began being tutored in the use of their barrow blades.

Several weeks later the Fellowship attempted to cross over to the eastern side of the Misty Mountains, but failed (and nearly died in the fierce, deep snow of the mountain pass). Therefore, Gandalf reluctantly agreed that they would travel beneath the mountains through the Mines of Moria. That was a fateful decision indeed! Gimli was confident that his great cousin Balin would honor them with a hearty welcome and aid for their journey, but they instead discovered that there were no living Dwarves left in Moria.

Frodo was nearly killed by the Watcher in the Water before they even got inside the mines (being a creature of evil, the monster homed in on the Ringbearer). Fighting off that monster was the first time the Fellowship battled as a group. After journeying through the apparently deserted mines for several dreary days, they discovered Balin’s tomb along with a journal he had been keeping, the final entry of which ominously described the final battle against invading orcs (in the Dwarves were utterly defeated). The orcs, as it turned out, still infested those mines. Upon realizing the Fellowship’s presence, they attacked en masse and that was the first huge and terrible battle that the Fellowship fought as a group. They prevailed and all survived, though the cave troll smote Frodo a blow that would have killed him had he not been wearing Bilbo’s mithril shirt concealed beneath his clothes. Sam would never forgot his indescribable heartbreak for that minute when he thought Frodo was dead. It became part of his nightmares from then on.

As the Fellowship fled through the mines, which were swarming with thousands more orcs, they were ironically saved by the advent of an even worse monster, a huge Balrog. The orcs fled from it, the Fellowship fled from the Balrog, but Gandalf had to turn back and face the Balrog to prevent it from pursuing and destroying everyone. On the Bridge of Khazad-dum, Gandalf stopped the Balrog but fell into the depths in the process. They believed Gandalf was dead.

The remaining 8 of them escaped from Moria onto the eastward slopes of the Misty Mountains. All were horribly shocked grief-stricken, including Sam who had been very fond of the wizard and very grateful. They could not take time to grieve properly, though, since the orcs would pursue them again as soon as night fell. Strider became their new leader (as was Gandalf’s spoken wish) and led them on to Lothlorien.

There they met Lady Galadriel and her husband, Lord Celeborn, and spent some weeks recuperating. Sam was uncomfortable and embarrassed, especially at first, with the way Lady Galadriel could see into his mind and heart (which greatly amplified his typical shyness around women). He later admitted that she had asked him (in his mind) what he would choose if he could return to the Shire right away to a comfortable home and garden of his own (which Sam thought a lovely thought, though not for a moment would he consider leaving Frodo.) Sam also remembered her words, however, that although their quest was in grave danger of failing “to the ruin of all,” she also advised that hope still remained if the company stayed “true.” Sam did not comprehend all the implications, but he felt somehow that she partly meant if he remained true to Frodo, and he vowed once again to do so, and also to keep his promise to Gandalf.

After that, while they were still in Lothlorien, the Lady Galadriel invited Frodo and Sam to look into her Mirror. She had divined that Sam especially longed to see some “Elvish magic.” She explained that her Mirror was the closest thing to magic that she knew of. She first invited Frodo to look, but when he withheld his answer, she invited Sam to look. Torn between fear and curiosity, his curiosity won out and he gazed into it. He saw a vision of Frodo lying pale and still, as if asleep, beneath a dark wall, and then a vision of himself climbing a long, dark passageway or stairs, desperate to find something though he knew not what. Then the Mirror gave him a glimpse of the Scouring of the Shire, including a vision of his own Dad being forced out of their home.

Sam cried out with alarm and outrage and wanted to rush back to the Shire immediately, for he had been worried that there was trouble brewing at home. But Lady Galadriel counseled him that not everything her Mirror showed has or will happen, or might happen only if Sam turned away from the path he ought to follow just to try and prevent the vision from coming true, and she pointed out that up until he looked in her Mirror he utterly rejected any idea of leaving Frodo. Sam relented then, saying, “I’ll go home by the long road with Mr. Frodo, or not at all.”

Frodo gazed into the Mirror next, and Sam witnessed all that was said there between Frodo and Lady Galadriel. His understanding of things was greatly increased as a result, and his admiration of Lady Galadriel soared to new heights, though he admitted that he wished she would have accepted the Ring from Frodo, believing she was good and wise enough to put things to right again, including stopping Evil from befalling the Shire.

By the time the Fellowship left Lothlorien, Sam noticed that there was definite friction between Aragorn and Boromir, which worried him. Boromir spoke plainly several times that he believed the Company with the Ring should come to his home, Minas Tirith, in order to wield the Ring with force of arms against the Enemy, and he many times gazed at Frodo with a new expression in his eyes that worried Sam. He began to fear in the back of his mind that Boromir might become dangerous to Frodo. Sam was sorry and hoped he was wrong, as until then he had grown to like Boromir.

Sam was not at all pleased (in contrast to nearly everyone else, who were relieved) to learn that the next leg of their journey would be by boat, sailing for days down the Anduin River toward either Mordor or Minas Tirith (depending upon whether Aragorn chose the east or west shore, something that Aragorn, Boromir, and Lord Celeborn had much discussed and not without considerable disagreement). Despite all the adventures he had survived, he still considered boats to be one of the most treacherous dangers in the world. He had no choice, however.

In the boats, along with food and other fresh supplies, the Elves had placed coils of a special kind of rope they made. Sam, having considerable knowledge and appreciation of rope, asked many questions about it and from then on attached a coil to his pack. Lady Galadriel also personally gave each of them a gift. Frodo received a magic phial of light. Sam received a small box of grey wood with a single silver rune on the lid (“G” for both Galadriel and Garden) containing soil from her own orchard and touched by her magic. She assured him that if he did return home to find the Shire damaged as in his vision, sprinkle her soil in and its magic would help the gardens and trees flourish again. Sam was so extremely grateful for this gift that he could not speak a word, but blushed deeply and bowed as well as he knew how.

Everyone also received hooded cloaks of a special fabric that would help conceal them from enemy eyes, fastened by a leaf brooch. The cloaks, as well as the phial of light and the Elven rope, would save Frodo’s and Sam’s lives more than once on the remainder of the quest.

As they sailed down the Anduin for several days, Sam could see a darkening change coming over Boromir and worried increasingly for Frodo’s safety and whether the Company could hold together. Aragorn and Boromir had arguments about whether to land on the eastern shore and continue to Mordor, or the western shore and go to Minas Tirith. Aragorn insisted on the eastern shore, which Boromir refused to accept. At Amon Hen, when the boats could carry them no further, the Ring made its move.

Boromir, when he failed again to persuade Frodo to bring the Ring to Minas Tirith, tried to steal the Ring by force. Frodo had to put the Ring on to escape, though that exposed him to the Eye of Sauron. Orcs attacked also, and Uruk-hai. Boromir’s madness convinced Frodo to leave the Fellowship immediately and go on alone, but Sam realized that Frodo was leaving and insisted on coming with him. When he’d made it clear that he’d follow Frodo somehow, or die trying, Frodo gave in. The two of them escaped in one of the boats and crossed to the eastern shore. They did not know what happened to their companions after that, though Sam prayed for their safety.

They still had everything given to them in Lothlorien, including packs stuffed with wafers of lembas. Sam assumed the role of Frodo’s protector, and despite his fear of what might lie ahead, he was quietly determined that Frodo would succeed in destroying that evil Ring, no matter what it took. (Not that his fondest hope was anything less than Frodo destroying that Ring and then them both returning home to live happily ever after in the Shire. Sam had by no means given up hope that their quest would end that way.)

Neither Frodo nor Sam had a clear idea of how to reach Mordor from there, by the best paths or any path at all. As Gimli had warned, however, they came to the Emyn Muil with its bewildering maze of broken, razor-sharp rocks. They lost their way, but were found by Gollum. Gollum, nearly insane with his desperate desire to re-possess his Precioussss, first tried to murder them in their sleep, but Sam captured him (with some help from Frodo) and bound him with the Elven rope (which Gollum wailed was torture). Sam fairly hated Gollum for trying to murder Mr. Frodo and counseled either killing him or leaving him there bound. Frodo, however, pitied Gollum and forced him to swear an oath to lead them safely to the Black Gates of Mordor.

From then on Sam was tense and uncharacteristically sharp-tempered, and hardly dared sleep much, so worried was he that Mr. Frodo was making a horrible mistake in trusting Gollum’s help. Sam didn’t trust Gollum an inch, and so aggravating was their dangerous guide that Sam’s patience was strained to its uttermost limit. Gollum in turn harbored a murderous hatred of Sam, which Sam believed was because he was protecting Frodo. Gollum was too sly to let Frodo see how he hated Sam, but he caused much friction between the Hobbits by fawning over Frodo while insulting and casting doubts about Sam. All this hurt Sam's feelings terribly, though he gave Mr. Frodo full benefit of the doubt and blamed all on Gollum and the Ring. Sam forgave Mr. Frodo for not seeing how evil and sly Gollum was being, for he realized how much Frodo hoped to redeem Gollum (though Sam felt it was impossible and didn't understand why redeeming Gollum was so important to Frodo).

Gollum led them onward to the Dead Marshes, which would have been utterly impassable for the two Hobbits partly because they didn’t understand the treachery of the place, and partly because of the heavy Orc patrols. Gollum, however, knew of a safe path and led them through. Frodo one time succumbed to the trance and fell into the waters and would have drowned, but Gollum pulled him back out in time. Sam loathed his ill fortune that Gollum got the credit for that, and tried not to believe that it made no difference to Mr. Frodo.

Gollum led them successfully through to the Black Gates of Mordor, but talked Frodo out of attempting to enter there because it was too heavily patrolled. Sam was furious at Gollum for tricking them, certain that Gollum had known all along that they couldn’t enter Mordor there, but Frodo, though initially seeming to agree with Sam, eventually defended their guide (to Sam’s horror and trepidation).

Gollum then told them he only knew of one other way into Mordor (which was one of his rare statements that both Hobbits fully believed). He told them they would have to pass under the shadow of Minas Morgul (a horrible place where lived things much more silent and dangerous than Orcs), then on to a steep path and stairs up the mountainside, into a dark tunnel, then out the other side into Mordor itself. (This tunnel was Shelob's lair, though Gollum withheld that fact.) Both Frodo and Sam asked Gollum many times whether this route was guarded, but Gollum's only answer (sullen and grudging) was that it was not guarded because Sauron never expected a threat to enter there, but whether guarded or not, the Hobbits either had to take that path into Mordor or turn back altogether.

Sam wondered whether he hadn't seen some green, evil light in Gollum's eyes when he said the tunnel path wasn't guarded, but regardless of suspicions, Frodo was determined to press on with the quest.

Trying to sneak through Ithilien, the trio witnessed a skirmish between Gondorians and Haradrim. Frodo and Sam were captured by the Gondorians, who they learned were Rangers of Ithilien led by Captain Faramir (they found out only eventually that he was Boromir’s younger brother). Though at first very frightened of Faramir and his soldiers, the two Hobbits were decently treated and eventually given a generous meal. Frodo, trying to prove that they were innocent travelers rather than agents of the Enemy, admitted that they had been part of a company originally led by Gandalf, and that a man named Boromir had also been with them. Frodo admitted that they had set out from Rivendell, passed through Lothlorien, and sailed most of the way up the Anduin in Lorien boats.

Faramir revealed then that he was Boromir’s brother, and knew he had gone to Rivendell seeking answers to a riddle about Isildur’s Bane, some great weapon of old that might help Gondor defeat the Dark Lord. The Hobbits realized that Faramir did not know what Isildur’s Bane was (the One Ring), and resolved not to tell him, but keep trying to persuade him to let them resume their journey. Faramir, however, a man of duty, was resolved to bring them to Minas Tirith in obedience to Steward Denethor’s orders.

Faramir, once he learned that they had sailed the Anduin in Lorien boats, also told them that he knew Boromir had died near the banks of the Anduin, for not only had he and others thought about 11 days earlier (the day Frodo and Sam had left the company) that they heard the Horn of Gondor blowing far up north, but Faramir had next had a vision of Boromir, dead from many battle wounds, floating down the Anduin in a graceful boat, and finally Boromir’s Horn washed ashore cloven in two pieces as by a swordstroke. Frodo and Sam were shocked and truly saddened to learn that Boromir had died shortly after they left the company, and feared then for the lives of all the rest of their friends too, though Faramir argued reasons for believing that at least some of them still lived.

Faramir seemed to Sam an honourable man, but he kept them much in conversation, and eventually Frodo dozed off. When Faramir expressed suspicions about the Lady of Lothlorien, that her reputation was as a very “perilous” Elf, Sam defended her, explaining that he believed that any evil which travelers “found” in Lorien was only that which they themselves brought. But then he blundered badly by admitting that Lorien was where he suspected that Boromir had finally resolved to take “the Enemy’s Ring.”

Frodo awoke with alarm at these words and Sam nearly died of shame, for he could not take back his foolish words. Faramir, too quick of mind, had seized upon them and understood all too well. For a minute Faramir seemed fearfully menacing, aware that he could easily take the Enemy’s Ring from Frodo. But that moment was brief, and it was then that Faramir showed his true quality. He understood the Evil of the Ring in a way that Boromir had not, and agreed not only to let the Hobbits go free, but to help them if he could.

Faramir’s men finally spied Gollum following them, and captured the vile creature, and would have killed Gollum as the law required for having trespassed on their most secret stronghold in Ithilien, but Frodo pleaded for Gollum’s life, that he was their sworn guide into Mordor and in exchange Frodo had promised to protect Gollum from harm. Faramir, like Sam, didn’t trust Gollum, but he spared Gollum’s life.

Upon hearing which path they meant to take into Mordor, Faramir advised them against it because an unknown terror was said to dwell there. Frodo, however, believed Gollum’s claim that there was no other path. Therefore, Faramir let the three of them go, with new food in their packs (which by then were nearly empty).

Thus, Gollum led the Hobbits on to Mordor, though he was more sullen than ever after having been treated badly by the Ithilien Rangers. Sam tried to explain that it was Frodo who saved Gollum’s life there, but it seemed to Sam like Gollum didn’t believe him. Sam’s distrust of Gollum grew even more intense, though in an effort to appease the wicked creature now when they needed him most, he didn’t let on.

Gollum continued his sly wicked ways, which to Sam seemed to widen the wedge he felt Gollum had already pushed between Frodo and himself. Despite his deeply hurt feelings, Sam’s loyalty to Frodo never wavered, though he no longer dared defer completely to Frodo’s judgment. He also knew Frodo was barely able to sleep anymore despite feeling exhausted, and Sam barely dared sleep due to the constant threat from Gollum and because he feared the Ring might somehow betray Mr. Frodo to death this close to Mordor.

Gollum led them past Minas Morgul (the lair of the Witch-King), and it was thanks to the concealing effect of the Lorien cloaks that they were able to sneak past unseen. The Witch-King was there, and surely would have seen them if not for those Elven cloaks. They watched as the Wraith-King led a great host out, and knew they were going to attack Gondor, and felt sorely sorry that Faramir would have to fight them.

Next came the very long, very treacherous climb up the “secret” stairs to the Morgul Vale and eventually to the tunnel entrance into Mordor (the path against which Faramir had warned them). The stairs were nearly as steep as a ladder, and snaked many hundreds of feet up the mountain, sometimes with a cliff rising on their left and a terrible sheer chasm on their right, and always with a bitter cold wind blowing against their faces as if trying to force them back or punishing them for coming onward. Even Gollum was genuinely frightened. By the time they reached the tunnel at the top, both Hobbits were exhausted to the bone.

However, when they reached the dark tunnel entrance, they realized Gollum had abandoned them.

role play sample: has to be of the character you're applying for, as it not only shows us how you roleplay in general but also how you interpret that particular character. Alernatively, use the [url]Off the Record[/url] forum as described in the rules.

(I know this is written in first-person, present tense, which is not how we write on this board, but hopefully it’s acceptable here?)

Was it only two hours ago that Mr. Frodo and I looked in Lady Galadriel’s magic mirror? Maybe, looking back, we should’ve told her a very polite, “No, thanks,” but we didn’t. We looked in the mirror, and can’t ever un-look.

I wonder if Mr. Frodo is really asleep, or just pretending like I am? I hope he’s really sleeping, he’s worn down so tired. This sweetcake will help me sleep, I hope. I’ve gotten used to sleeping hungry, or cold, or damp, or with trying to keep one ear cocked in case trouble comes – or all those thing together – but I always sleep best when my stomach’s comfortable. These Lorien Elves are generous with comfortable things like soft pillows and good food. We arrived a sorry bedraggled lot, needing a good feeding-up and nights of sleeping good and relaxed.

Not that there’s no trouble of mind. Mr. Gandalf being gone, that’s mortally sad and wrong, we’re all mourning him and rightly so. There are some people as should never be gone, as you know you’ll miss ‘til the end of your days. Mr. Gandalf is one of those. Mr. Frodo is another one, for me, and that scares me.

Something’s changed in Mr. Frodo since he looked in The Lady’s mirror. Something deeper than what I heard either of them say out loud. I couldn’t rightly tell, but it almost seemed like some of what they said to each other wasn’t out loud. There must’ve been something, because I think Mr. Frodo is more afraid now, and that’s saying a lot. I wish he’d tell me what he’s thinking differently – or maybe he did but I’m not keen enough to catch it. One thing’s for sure, I’m feeling more uneasy now about whatever trouble’s ahead.

More uneasy about back home, too. That vision of my poor Gaffer turned out of our home, pushing his bits of things in a barrow past the ruin that someone made of our Bagshot Row. Trees cut down, gardens spoilt, ugly brick shacks in place of our friendly homes. Who’re those filthy villains? Or who will they be? The Lady said what I saw might not happen, might never happen, but I don’t feel easy about it. It seemed too real. My Gaffer looked old and broken. I wish I were home right this instant to make sure he’s all right and stays that way. But Dad doesn’t even know where I am now, or why I’ve been gone so long. I couldn’t tell him before I left, couldn’t break the secret. I’m afraid to wonder what my Gaffer thinks of me now.

Whatever he thinks, good or bad, I guess I know what he’d expect of me now. Keep my promise, that’s what. To Mr. Gandalf, and to Mr. Frodo. Dad doesn’t hold with breaking promises, he’d have something mighty hot to say about that!

So, I’m decided, even though it makes my heart ache. No matter what, I’ll go home by the long road with Mr. Frodo, or not at all.
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Oct 19 2014, 21:36

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