The Path to Rivendell by Linaewen

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Story Notes:

A fixed length fic of 300 words, written for the November 2014 LotR Community Challenge on the theme of gratitude.

Dusk was darkening as Boromir wandered a wide land of steep slopes, unexpected ravines and swift streams.  Hope that he had found his way lifted his heart as he stumbled upon a path marked with white stones.  But the stones were irregularly placed, easily lost in the heather, and Boromir soon found himself in doubt.  Would this vague path lead him in circles or plunge him off a precipice in the dark?  With nothing else to guide him, he pressed on through the gathering twilight as he followed the scattered stones.

Suddenly a figure appeared, blocking his path.  Boromir halted abruptly, staring at the tall Elf who stood before him, arrow aimed at his heart.

"At last!" Boromir cried in mixed relief and irritation.  "At last I find you!"

The Elf, puzzled at Boromir's tone, slowly lowered his weapon.  "You were searching for me?"

Boromir shook his head.  "Forgive me.  I am Boromir of Gondor.  I have journeyed three long months in pursuit of answers to a riddle given in a dream, seeking Rivendell, the dwelling of Elrond.  Meeting you gives me hope that I have finally found my way to that place."

"Three months!" exclaimed the Elf. "You come far on foot! Had you no horse for your journey?"
"I had a horse, but lost him at the fording of the Greyflood."

"A long journey indeed, Boromir of Gondor, but you near the end.  I cannot leave my post here, but I will tell you signs you must seek to find the hidden path.  Here is a token to present to the other guards so you may pass freely.  It is not an easy path for the weary, but you will find rest at the end.  Elrond will welcome you."

"I am grateful!" Boromir exclaimed, bowing low.  "Thank you!"

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