• Published 23rd Aug 2015
  • 10,897 Views, 1,120 Comments

Fellowship is Magic - Mr-War

Something strange is happening in Twilight's palace. The magic mirror has started acting strangely during a period of intense solar flares, leaving her worried about what complications might occur. The next thing she knows, through a sequence of even

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After leaving Bree far behind -and after leaving yet another message burned into the ground, detailing in the Equestrian dialect where they were heading- the company quickly left the road, and now relied completely on Strider to lead them safely through the Wild. No one, not even Frodo, trusted him completely, and most of the others trusted him much less. But at the moment he was the surest thing they had going for them. Plus he apparently knew Gandalf, so that was of some small comfort.

At lunch -if it could truly be called that- Strider allowed them a small break, but afterwards they traveled on without stop. And eating while on the run -quite literally in this case- was not fun.

By the time the sun was setting, everyone but Strider was feeling the strain of the quick pace he set for them. Twilight and Spike were half-supporting Rarity, who was quite grateful for their efforts, despite trying her best to rely on her own strength so as to not be a burden. Pinkie was mumbling nonsense to herself, Rainbow Dash sweated heavily from working both her wings and leg muscles, and Fluttershy was having a very intelligent conversation with Bill the pony, once she figured out how to communicate with him. Applejack was walking at the rear of the group with the hobbits, who stayed as far from Strider as possible. Both she and Sam were busy shooting uncertain glances at their guide while trying not to fall too far behind.

Finally, sensing their weariness, and no longer able to ignore his own, Strider halted at the borders of the forest. Before them lay a great bog that extended for many, many leagues.

Spike lifted his head and made a face of disgust. "What is that awful stench?" he asked Strider.

"We have just left Chetwood, and approach the Midgewater Marshes," said Strider. "We shall travel through the marshes; though it will not be pleasant."

"That smell is coming from those marshes?" Fluttershy asked, looking east. "I've never seen a real bog before."

"A first time for everything, I suppose," Twilight replied. "Granted, this is not an experience I'm looking forward to."

"Can't we avoid this disgusting marsh, and just go to the road now?" Rarity asked hopefully.

"You may if you wish," Strider replied, "but the wraiths will strike you down if you are in their way. Nonetheless, this is the road that your guide will lead you through." With that, he started down the hill that led to the edge of the marshes.

Rarity whimpered as she looked between the marshes and the way they came, desperately not wanting to go through the bog. But she knew that Strider is right; the black riders would not hesitate to kill her if she is in their way. She let out a small, quiet sob, as she followed Strider and her friends into the bog, wincing with each squelching noise her hooves made, as all sorts of muck clung to her white fur.

"Cheerful fellow," Rainbow Dash commented sarcastically. "An absolute delight to be around."

Applejack shot Rainbow Dash an annoyed look, even though she agreed with her assessment. "Ah don't like how he's treatin' us, as if we're useless. Who died an' made 'im king, anyways?"

Rainbow Dash just shrugged. "Maybe the fact that he's bigger than us. But if Frodo goes with him, then I go with him," she said as she walked up ahead of the group.

Applejack raised a suspicious eyebrow at Rainbow Dash. While her words had that same sense of loyalty that Applejack knew, she couldn't really shake the feeling that there is something more darker laced in those words. But she dismissed it as a result of her fatigue, and followed the rest of the group through the marshes.

For two miserable days, and two equally miserable nights they tread through the putrid, wet marshes. All of them, including Strider, were miserable with the conditions. Any animosity that Frodo's companions felt for Strider grew greater throughout those hours, and dark mutterings spread amongst them, despite Frodo's trust.

Strider did not heed them and their gripes; in fact, most of the time he acted as if his fellow travelers were simply not there.

Their second night in the marshes, as everyone was sleeping after another trying day of plowing through the thick, mucky waters, Fluttershy woke up to a soft singing. She turned her head and saw Strider sitting on a boulder, singing a tune in some strange, but still beautiful language.

"What are you singing about?" she asked him when she could no longer retain her curiosity.

Strider turned quickly towards her, startled by the break in the relative silent. It was the first time she had ever seen him display a genuine response. He was silent for a moment, and at first Fluttershy thought that he would not answer her.

Finally, he responded. "I sing of the Lady Luthien, the elf-maiden who gave her love to Beren, a mortal."

She looked at him quizzically. "An elf-maiden? I don't know what a elf is."

Strider shot her an odd look. "How could you not know what a elf is?"

Fluttershy shrugged. "It is a long story. In any case, who are Luthien and Beren?"

"Luthien is remembered as the fairest elf-maiden ever born. Beren, a mortal, took her heart away," Strider replied, deciding to simply go with it, rather than inquiring further.

"What happened to her?" Fluttershy asked.

"Because of her love with a mortal, she gave up her immortality and died," he replied quietly, a touch of sadness in his voice. She was puzzled by his sorrow, but asked him no more questions that night. She could sense that it was something of a touchy topic with him.

The next morning, their third day in the marshes, they woke with bitter thoughts aimed towards the lands they treaded through, and the man who had the bright idea to lead them there in the first place. Great clouds of flies swarmed all around them, and bit at their flesh without remorse. Merry and Rarity in particular were in a very foul mood.

"What do they eat when they can't get hobbit meat!?" Merry asked bitterly as he swatted some on his skin, only for them to quickly fly off before they were struck.

"Rangers, I would suppose," Rarity muttered under her breath, before flicking her tail in annoyance. Twilight looked at her in surprise, but turned her attention back to her surroundings when she nearly tripped from the distraction.

"We only have half a day until we reach the end of the marshes," Strider called out to them. "Then we will make for Weathertop." He pointed to a lone hill at the end of a chain of mountains in the distance. "Only a bit further."

"I certainly hope so," Rarity mumbled as she walked along. As much as she loved the mud back at the spa, this certainly wasn't anything like it.

At the end of the day, the company finally reached Weathertop. They were all quite thankful to get out of the marshes, and many in the group treated their guide a bit more kindly now that they were out, the overwhelming relief proving to be more than a match for their foul moods.

Strider looked up at the hill thoughtfully. "This was the great watchtower of Amon Sul," he said quietly as if to himself. He then turned to the other. "We shall rest here tonight."

"High ground. Got it. Finally," Rainbow Dash commented. The idea of being up higher appealed to her a great deal now.

They climbed up the path that wound up the hill wearily, and before the sun had fully fallen, found a crevice in the side of the hill large enough to fit all of them. They threw down their packs, and took the baggage off Bill the pony. Spike threw himself down on the ground, panting heavily. The others did the same, thankful for rest.

Strider, tired as he moved, took one of the packs and placed it on the ground before them, and unrolled it, revealing four short, sheathed swords, and one short axe.

"They are for you," he said as one by one, they were each picked up. "You may need them in the days to come."

"I don't know how to use a sword," Merry commented as he eyed his, looking over the nicks in the blade.

"It's not like we do either," Rainbow Dash replied and shrugged. "Where'd you get them anyway? Do all you Rangers just walk around with random weaponry on you, on the off chance Gandalf asks you to help him out with some hobbits?" she asked.

Strider chuckled to himself. "Bree is a well traveled area. They have a trading post where provisions can be acquired for a journey. Some acquire with currency, others through bartering their goods in exchange for others," he explained, before standing back up. "I'm going to have a look around, get a better idea of what our surroundings may hold for us. You stay here."

"I'm going with you," Twilight insisted, stepping up. As much as they wanted to simply rest, she also wanted to know what they might be dealing with. "I don't think it's wise to wander about alone; don't you agree?"

What she left unsaid was that she, along with most of the others, was still unsure of Strider's loyalties, and she for one had no desire to see herself and her friends killed simply because she trusted someone too much.

Strider shot her a look, but did not protest, which was unexpected for Twilight, as she assumed that he would refuse. Thankfully that wasn't the case.

"So..." Applejack spoke up slowly once they were alone again, "anyone know how ta actually use a sword?" she asked.

"Only what I've read in "Daring Do" books," Rainbow Dash commented. And according to A.K. Yearling's testimony the last time they had contact, such displays were meant to be entertaining to the reader, rather than informative.

"I fear I've not had much in the way of practice," Frodo added, "Bilbo never let me touch his."

Spike just sighed to himself. He had been hoping for a sword when he'd seen them, but those had gone to Frodo and the others. Leaving him with just the axe. Better than nothing, but not what he'd been wanting.

"Doesn't it seem kinda irresponsible for Strider to leave us something that we don't know how to use?" Pinkie asked.

"Kinda seems that way ta me," Applejack replied and shrugged. But what could they really do about it now?

"I'm going to rest," Frodo stated to no one in particular, before making his way over away from the others. All the walking the last few days was far more than he was used to.

Strider glanced thoughtfully at old prints with the light of a flickering torch. They had made a fair bit of distance from the watch post without finding anything, before finally coming upon signs that they weren't the only ones who had come through this area.

Twilight honestly could not make out what she was looking at, so she stood back, interested in the process, and trying to learn through observation. Unfortunately she was learning very little, despite her focus, and finally she simply got fed up with the whole silence thing.

"What do you see in those old marks?" she asked, becoming impatient with the man and his constant silence.

"Not much," Strider surprisingly answered. "There were a few people here not a few days ago, but I do not wish to wander too far from Weathertop to see where they went."

Suddenly, piercing shrieks ripped through the night air. They took one look at one another in recognition of what that sound was, and what it meant.

Strider immediately drew out his sword, while Twilight summoned her mana sword; all the while trying to steel her nerves for what she knew was coming.

Frodo, despite his weariness, and the soundness of his sleep, was distracted from his dreams by a smell of smoke- a smell that immediately alarmed him. He quickly sat up and saw most of the others by a small fire, cooking something in a pan. Rarity and Applejack were right behind him, just waking up.

"What are you doing?" he yelled in slight panic.

"Tomatoes," said Pinkie.

"Sausages," said Merry.

"And nice crispy bacon," finished Pippin.

"We saved some for all of you," Sam said to them.

Rainbow Dash nodded in agreement. "I know we don't usually eat meat, but the bacon is actually pretty tasty. The tomatoes, though, could use some more pepper."

Frodo ran up and started jumping on the small fire, trying to put it out. "Put it out you fools, put it out!"

Rarity and Applejack were up and after Frodo, trying to help extinguish the fire, all the while trying not to stomp on his feet.

"What were you thinking?" Rarity shouted to her friends. "Have you no sense?"

"Oh, that's nice! Ash in my tomatoes!" Merry screamed angrily at Frodo.

"Who in all o' Tartarus is stupid enough to make a gosh darn fire in the middle o' the night when they're being hunted?" Applejack exclaimed to them. She took the pot of water that they collected on their way up the hill, and dumped it onto the fire, getting everyone around it wet in the process as it splashed.

"What is your problem AJ?! Fussing about nothin'!" Rainbow Dash snapped at Applejack.

They immediately stopped bickering when a loud screech pierced the air, practically freezing them in place. Alarmed, as one they all turned to Frodo, knowing that what he carried was the reason their pursuers were here.

"Go!" he screamed, unsheathing his sword. The others did the same and went quickly up the path from the crevice. Bill did not follow them, being too frightened to do so. Soon they found themselves at the summit of Weathertop. They circled themselves around Frodo protectively. The top of the hill was covered in ruins and weathered statues of great people long ago, but the companions did not pay attention to the surroundings. As they stood there, swords drawn, they could feel a foreboding chill quickly fill the air.

They were here...

"This is so bad," Rainbow Dash gulped nervously.

"Ya think?" Applejack asked, annoyed that they wouldn't have been put in this position if the others could do more than just think with their stomachs.

"What're we gonna do?" Pinkie asked as she huddled close to Sam.

"Fight or die," Spike replied as he gripped the shaft of his axe, not knowing what else to say.

And then the hoods of their pursuers came into view, signalling that time was preciously short.

"Looks like we don't have much choice now," Rainbow Dash mumbled to herself, wings tensing up. Fearfully she looked over at Applejack for support. "Double whammy?" she asked, trying to steady her nerves.

"Double whammy," Applejack replied and nodded. If fighting was going to be necessary, then they were gonna have to give it all they had; just like when Chrysalis had invaded Canterlot.

And then the wraiths made it to the top of the lookout, and slowly began to draw their swords.

"This is it. GO!"

Rainbow Dash was off like a shot, slamming her front hooves into the two wraiths on the left -one of them faltering more than the other from the force of the impact- before whirling around hard, and wrapping her forelegs underneath its arms from behind, and pulling as hard as she could, keeping its arms restrained out to the sides.

"AJ!" she called out.

"Right wit' ya, Sugarcube," Applejack replied as she charged over, stopping and turning around a bit, and slamming her hind legs into the wraith's midsection. But these weren't the usual bucks she used for harvesting apples. No, this time around she was putting all of her physical might into them; the same might when she had to bring down an entire tree.

The wraith shrieked in pain from the force of the impact it'd been subjected to, losing its footing in the process, and making it a lot easier for Rainbow Dash to pull it back. She reared up and bucked it again with the same amount of force as before, bringing about another shriek as it struggled to get loose.

"Harder!" Rainbow Dash yelled as she tried to hold onto the wraith, planting her hooves against its back as she pulled on its arms as hard as she could. This thing had way too much fight left in it after getting bucked twice; she felt the impact right through it, and was truly dumbstruck that it was still putting up this much of a struggle. The fact that it hadn't even dropped its sword yet, was amazing in itself.

"Ah'm tryin'!" Applejack yelled back as she bucked the wraith again. "It's like tryin' ta buck solid steel!"

Over with the others, Rarity didn't know just what had happened. The atmosphere of terror that had been all but palpable just a moment ago, was suddenly lessened. It was almost like Rainbow Dash imitating the charge had removed their element of surprise, and left them on uncertain footing instead of the other way around.

Whatever had happened, she was fairly certain that the other wraiths were just as dumbstruck as the one who found itself restrained. But that dumbstruck state seemed to vanish quickly, as the other four turned their attention towards them.

And then she spotted the dropped sword that had clattered to the ground when Rainbow Dash had punched the wraith in the face; which it was in the process of retrieving. That simply wouldn't do.

Quick as a whip, Rarity grabbed the sword in her magic, and pulled it away before its rightful owner could reclaim it. It was an utterly beastly construct, but she was beyond caring about such at this point.

"Let's see how you hooligans fare against someone on more equal footing with you now!" she screamed as she brought the sword to bear. "En garde!"

While Rarity engaged her selected wraith in a duel of swords, sparks flying as blades violently clashed against one another, Pinkie took a decidedly more unorthodox approach to the engagement.

She had tripped her wraith by sweeping its legs out from underneath it, sending it crashing to the ground in the process, before proceeding to jump on its back, slamming all four of her hooves on its back, resulting in a chorus of screams that perfectly matched those of the wraith that Rainbow Dash and Applejack were double teaming.

"I don't believe it! We're being rescued by ponies!" Merry commented as he watched how things had quickly developed. Fear was quickly giving way to utter bewilderment. How had this come about?

"You think this is bad? You should see some of the villains we've faced back in Equestria," Spike commented, feeling a sense of bravado swelling in his chest. "The rest of you, get out of here! We'll keep them at bay!" he stated, before leaping into action, axe at the ready.

Granted, the wraith that he engaged was the one who had been relieved of his sword, but still.

Regardless of the fact that it was neither living nor dead -at least by Strider's assessment- it was certainly doing its best to avoid getting struck by the axe that Spike was swinging.

"I think we might actually survive this," Pippin stated as he surveyed their surroundings, and how things were playing out.

Unfortunately there was still one wraith left. And it was showing a complete lack of concern for its comrades, and was instead fixed on their position.

"Or... maybe not," Merry replied as they were slowly approached. Approached, and left with nowhere to retreat.

"Back, you devil!" Sam yelled, being the first to engage the wraith with his own sword.

That endeavor lasted for several strikes, before he was easily tossed aside like a ragdoll, being slammed against the side of the ruins, and in no hurry to get back up again.

Fluttershy watched as Merry and Pippin didn't fare any better in their efforts. If anything, the both of them fared even worse than Sam had. That left only her standing between the wraith, and Frodo and the ring. She truly, truly didn't want to be here; she wanted to be back home, safe from harm. But she didn't have that option right now. Her friends were in danger all around her, doing their best to keep these monsters at bay. Deep down she knew that she had to do the same.

That left her with only one available option.

She bared her teeth in a sneer as she unleashed the Stare on the remaining wraith, causing it to falter, and stop in its tracks.

For a moment anyway.

The next thing Fluttershy knew, she was being grasped by her neck, and easily lifted right off her hooves, before being thrown headfirst into the stone walls of the ruins, and everything around her went black.

Frodo cried in pure horror at what he'd just seen, dropping his sword as the last wraith focused all of its dark energy upon him. He tried to back up, but tripped instead, and fell down with a thud. He unconsciously took the Ring out of his pocket, all the while he knowing full well that he shouldn't use it, but he simply couldn't help himself. He struggled against the voice that shouted at him to use it, like some rogue thought being remembered, but in the end, he put it on and disappeared from mortal sight.

The next thing he knew, he felt his shoulder being pierced by a sharp dagger, subjecting him to levels of pain that he truly didn't know were even possible.

The fight between the wraiths and the Equestrians was a rather impressive demonstration of combat abilities not being contingent upon the right physical form. Despite the obviously uneven match up of opponents, Rarity, Pinkie, and the others were all holding their own quite respectfully.

But that ability to hold their own was hindered by the presence of a very specific fatal flaw; that being that their success was contingent upon perpetual motion on their part, and the ability to keep moving as they were at present.

It was a fact best exemplified by the wraith Spike fought against, finding an exploitable opening during a moment of over-extension, and taking it by kicking Spike in the stomach with enough force to send him flying backwards.

"Oh no! Spike!"

This in turn served to make Pinkie forget about her own wraith, and leap off its back to make sure Spike was okay. Which in turn allowed the wraith to pick itself up off the ground, albeit with a lump after the beating it had just endured. It ignored Rarity as she parried and thrust against her opponent, to make its way over to its comrade struggling against both Applejack and Rainbow Dash. It took a tight grip on the hilt of its sword, raising it parallel with the ground as it got in close, and trust forward.

"AJ! Duck!"

Which in turn lead to it overextending its thrust, burying the forward portion of the blade into the abdomen of its comrade as Applejack ducked her head down just in time to avoid being skewered itself. That sent the wraith's howling to entirely new levels. And it would've skewered Rainbow Dash as well, if she hadn't disengaged when she had.

"Tha's gonna leave a mark!" Applejack commented as she quickly got out of the way of the two, followed quickly by Rainbow Dash.

"I bet he wishes he was dead now," Rainbow Dash replied.

"I could use a little help, please, if you two don't mind!" Rarity shouted back to them, quickly back stepping as her opponent has quickly gained the upper hand. She'd been keeping it at bay with a series of rapid forward thrusts and parries, pushing forward with the advantage that she didn't have to put herself within striking distance thanks to her magic. but in all the commotion, that advantage had disappeared, and she was now having to defend herself against a vicious onslaught.

And then came a violent yell. But not a yell that any of them could have produced.

Like the main characters in an action novel common to the library back home, both Strider and Twilight came charging over the ruins, and dove right into the action with incredible ferocity. Strider, with sword and torch swinging madly, engaging any wraith that was nearby. Twilight not far behind, her sword forged of pure magic clashing against steel blades, and casting violent sparks as it proved its solidity in actual combat.

They had just reclaimed what had been lost so easily, leaving everyone else stunned at how things had developed.

Frodo reappeared in a corner, popping back into view and screaming in pain, as Strider lit one of the wraiths' robes aflame. The Ringwraith shrieked and ran off the hill, the fire consuming it.

Twilight, taking a cue from what she'd just witnessed, allowed her sword to disintegrate, before turning her magic towards more offensive spells, firing off multiple magic blasts at anything that was black and moved, causing flames to explode upon contact with whatever they touched; including any wraith unfortunate enough to be in her line of sight at the time.

All four of the Ringwraiths ran off the hill, covered in flames, leaving only one left. Strider took aim and quickly threw the torch at its face. The Ringwraith shrieked in anger and pain and ran away with its comrades.

"Nice throw," Spike said approvingly from where he'd been laying, watching despite the amount of pain he'd been in.

Strider did not heed him, but instead ran over to Frodo who was breathing rapidly, his eyes clenched tight in pain, Sam was already with him, holding his hand, and looking quite worriedly at his wound. Rainbow Dash ran over to where Fluttershy lay, while Applejack and Rarity helped Merry and Pippin back up to their feet. Pinkie glanced around, and saw nothing else to keep her interest since Spike appeared to be alright, and headed over to Frodo, Twilight, Spike, Sam, and Strider.

"He's been stabbed by a Morgul-blade," Strider said grimly as he held up a discarded weapon for investigation, the blade dissolving as he spoke, leaving only the hilt.

"What's that?" Sam asked frantically. "Will Mr. Frodo be alright?"

Strider's expression became even grimmer. "A Morgul-blade is no ordinary blade. If not healed he will turn into a wraith himself."

"What!?" Rarity shrieked in horror at what she'd just heard.

"Even as we speak, the shard works its way ever closer to his heart. When it reaches, there will be nothing we can do..." Strider explained.

"Oh no. We're not letting that happen," Twilight stated firmly, "Strider, hold Frodo down, and hold him firmly. That shard is coming out..."

None of them had any idea of what Twilight was talking about, or what was going to happen. But despite having no certainty of what was being said, did as instructed, and pinned Frodo to the floor of the watch tower.

Twilight's horn glowed, as did the damage to Frodo's shirt, before it was torn open wider to expose the sight of the injury.

"I won't lie. This is going to hurt. Keep him steady," she instructed, before beginning.

The glow of Twilight's magic started to radiate outward from Frodo's injury, and almost immediately he began screaming in pain, trying to thrash about, despite his weakened condition.

"Hold him down!" Twilight snapped, her voice carrying far more authority than the others had ever heard her demonstrate before. Sam, Merry and Pippin responded to pinning Frodo's arms and legs down, fearful of the alternative if they didn't.

The sound of flesh being disturbed was nauseating to hear, thankfully drowned out by Frodo's screams of agony as his skin and muscle rippled. Twilight grunted as she struggled to concentrate, fighting to open the wound up, and force the tissue to uncompress from around the morgul shard it was holding captive.

As she forcefully pried the injury open, allowing blood to start seeping out, Frodo's screams of pain reached new and unnerving levels; nobody knew a hobbit could scream quite so loud.

"Stop! Stop! You're killing him!" Sam pleaded. He wanted to let go of Frodo and tackle Twilight to make her stop, but fear served to hold him back, and prevent such a course of action.

"Look!" Spike stated as he gestured to the injury. Looking closely, they could see that the shard was clearly visible, as it started to emerge from his body, enveloped in Twilight's magic.

"Almost... there..." Twilight grunted, her mind aching with concentration as she tried to cover so many different tasks at the same time; keeping the wound open, preventing the musculature from spasming around the shard, and grasping the shard itself.

She pulled. She pulled very, very hard on the shard, wrenching on it with such force, she literally threw herself onto her back in the process. But it had been worth it. She had managed to wrench the shard out of Frodo's body, saving him from the fate of becoming a wraith himself. She breathed a sigh of relief as she sat up, and examined the fruits of her labor...

... only to discover that the tip of the shard was blunt.

She cursed, something absolutely no one recognized, as she bolted up in a panic, the shard disintegrating in her grasp in the process.

"The tip must've broken off. I've gotta go back in and get it out!" she stated in a panic.

"No!" Strider objected as he thrust his hand forward to stop her. "I know not what sort of magic you weave, pony, but I fear if you try again, the trauma will serve to kill Frodo where he lays," he warned as the aforementioned hobbit gasped for air.

Rainbow Dash, who had been watching in silence the whole time, finally approached and shrugged Strider's shoulder from the side.

"I can't get Fluttershy to wake up. She wasn't stabbed or anything, but I can't get her to wake up at all," she stated in an obviously worried tone.

"I'll see to her when I can," Strider said. "But we have no time now. We must away, lest the wraiths decide to return."

He sent the others to gather all of their supplies, along with Bill, up to where they were, while Strider wrapped Frodo in his own cloak. Fluttershy was lifted onto the pony and Bill's baggage was split between everyone else. Strider himself carried Frodo.

"You said you'd see to her, right?" Rainbow Dash asked him as they split the supplies. "You have skills as a healer?"

"I do," said Strider. "And your friend should be fine. Frodo's wound, however, is beyond my skill to heal. He will need Elvish medicine."

With that, they began their journey once more.

Three days later they were in Trollshaws, a very wooded and mountainous region, but still the group had a long day ahead of them before they ever reached Rivendell. Fluttershy had awoken not long after they started their journey from Weathertop, and when they were too weary to go on, Strider tended her head injury.

Conferring with Twilight, he found that she had a concussion -likely from the encounter with the wraith, based on the testimony of the others- and could not walk very well, never mind walk quickly for a long time. So it was that she rode Bill the pony most of the time, and when the pony needed a break, Rainbow Dash or Applejack would take over carrying her for as long as they were able, and Bill carried a much lighter Frodo instead.

With each day that passed, Frodo was becoming worse, and worse. By the third day, he was well beyond the point of speaking to the others. His survival became more doubtful as the days went on.

On the third night, the group collapsed under the statues of three trolls. Frodo was awake, barely, but seemingly unaware of the world around him. Fluttershy passed out from the incredible nausea she'd been experiencing some time ago, and now Twilight held onto her tightly. She tried to distract herself from the situation, and instead concentrated on her surroundings. She looked up at the stone trolls, attempting a look of interest, knowing that there was very little that she could do on her own.

"What are statues doing all the way out here?" she asked to no one in particular.

Surprising, it was Sam who answered. "They were once living. When the sunlight touched their skin, they turned to stone." He paused and looked at Frodo. "Mr. Bilbo told me," he said quietly.

"I think I heard him telling that story back at the Shire. Although at the time I dismissed it as something to simply entertain the children," Twilight replied, still finding it hard to believe that sunlight could turn living tissue into stone.

Or... perhaps it was worse than that, and it was living tissue trapped within a stone prison. What if they were still alive, trapped in an immovable prison, and unable to communicate with those around them? She shuddered at such a thought.

Strider, who spent the last few minutes watching their surroundings with wary eyes, suddenly turned to Sam. "Sam, do you know of the athelas plant?"



"Kingsfoil, aye, that is a weed," Sam replied, slightly confused as to why Strider wanted to talk about herbs at a time like this.

Strider quickly clued him in. "It may help to slow the poison- hurry!" he said as he handed the hobbit a torch.

Rainbow Dash watched as they went off to find the plant, and then took a good look at Frodo. He was turning green in the face, he was shivering despite being both close to the fire, and wrapped in three or so cloaks. It seemed as if Frodo was truly suffering, and dying a slow, painful death.

Rainbow Dash frowned, exhaled, and decided to try to help the poor hobbit survive this ordeal. In the end, Frodo certainly wasn't a bad guy, and she simply couldn't think of any particular reason why she would want misfortune on him. Even the beautiful Ring that had captivated her attention, and still vied for it even now, simply didn't seem to be worth his death.

"I'm gonna go after Strider. Watch his back, and see if I can help him find this king whatever plant," she said to the others as she dug through the pile of gear, until she withdrew the sheathed sword that Frodo had wielded. In his current condition, he certainly had no use of it, and she wasn't about to go out into the forest unarmed.

Receiving a nod from the others, which she returned, she slipped the belt diagonally over her body, and took off in search of Strider.

The Pegasus quickly went through the trees, seeking for any signs of their guide. Despite the supposed ease involved, it still took her a few minutes of searching, before she finally saw the flickering light of a torch. It had to be either Strider or Sam. She hurried over towards the light to join whoever it was, but before she revealed herself, she stopped in her tracks. Her eyebrows went up in surprise at the scene before her.

She could make out the form of Strider kneeling on the ground, and above him was a tall figure holding a sword to Strider's neck. Rainbow Dash frowned, silently unsheathed her small sword, clenching the hilt between her teeth, and started to creep over to them. While she still had some minor reservations about trusting Strider completely, she trusted him far more than this strange figure, and she planned to intervene in this attack.

She was about to attack the figure from behind, when she too found a sword to her own back.

For Rainbow Dash, this particular situation had a familiar feeling to it. Someone was almost always hunting Daring Do in the books, and she often had a sword, or some other weapon pressed on her back just as she's about to get the artifact. She turned slightly, trying to face her attacker. However, her attacker knew what she was doing, and did not allow Rainbow Dash to turn further.

"Put down your blade," a male voice spoke.

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and decided to play with him. "And if I don't?" she asked through the hilt of her blade, her back still to her attacker.

"Then I would be forced to kill you," her attacker replied.

"And who, my friend, would be forcing this?" Rainbow Dash retorted.

The figure seemed unsure how to reply to the unexpected, and even outright bizarre question. Now was Rainbow Dash's chance. She ducked and jumped back, now facing him.

This maneuver usually worked, and so she was surprised to see that the man followed her moves quickly, and now had the sword at her neck. The Pegasus, however, now had her sword pointed towards the man's neck, putting the two in an equal predicament.

Fate, though, was not on Rainbow Dash's side that night. She took a step back so the sword did not impale her, as the man also took a step back from her sword, but as she did, she tripped over a tree root lying right in her path. She shouted as she tripped, dropping her sword in the process. Using this moment, her attacker charged towards her.

At the same moment, Strider came crashing through the trees with a woman by his side. Rainbow Dash was on the ground cursing to herself. The Ranger stopped the attacker with a quick word in a strange language, before eventually helping Rainbow Dash back onto her hooves. The Pegasus ignored the help and backed away from them, picking up her sword once again.

"Strider, explain all this!" she yelled angrily. "One moment you have a sword to your bucking neck and the next you have a new friend! What's going on!?"

Strider chuckled slightly. He spoke something in a strange language to Rainbow Dash's attacker, and the stranger stepped out of the shadows towards Strider. In the torchlight, the Pegasus saw that it was a man who looked like a man, but at the same time looked nothing like a man. Now that she looked closer, the woman was the same. The observant Pegasus saw that their ears were pointed, and blinked in disbelief.

"What are you?" she asked.

The man of the group spoke in the strange language to Strider once more, and Strider replied in turn before answering Rainbow Dash. "They are elves, Rainbow." The other's eyebrows went up to her maneline, but in the end, she sheathed her sword and put it away.

"Elves. All right, fine. Elves," she said nonchalantly. Tilting her head, the Pegasus took one good look at them, before making a face and pushing her way past them, nearly colliding into Applejack in the process. Twilight was right behind her, her horn glowing as she prepared a spell.

Rainbow Dash glanced at the sword between Applejack's teeth that had just nearly impaled her. "Watch where you're point that thing," she scolded.

"Wha's goin' on here, Rainbow?" Applejack asked, completely ignoring her friend's comment. She glanced behind her, eyeing Strider and the two strangers. "We heard ya shout not a minute ago! Sam jus' came back to camp, an' was scared witless by the chance that there may be a fight nearby while Frodo is goin' ta the deep end."

"Strider has elf friends, apparently," Rainbow Dash said.

"Elves?" Twilight asked, stepping forward to get a better look.

"Elves. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be making my way back to camp." Rainbow Dash left the group and headed back to camp.

Applejack looked confused. "Elves?"

Strider and his companions seemed slightly amused, but Strider only shook his head. "There is no time to explain now. I need to give this to Frodo," he said, holding a plant. With that, he ran off.

The two elves quickly followed Strider. Applejack and Twilight shot each other a look, before they followed after them.

"I am Glorfindel of the House of Elrond, and my companion is Arwen, daughter to Elrond of Rivendell," the male elf said in greeting when everyone was under the stone trolls once more, and somewhat calmer than just moments ago. "We heard of your coming and went to find you."

"We have been searching for two days," Arwen added. "We did not realize that so many of you would be traveling together."

"It is quite a long story," Twilight explained, trying to get used to the fact that she was speaking with elves. And trying to figure out just what the difference between them and men were. "I am honored to make your acquaintances Lady Arwen, Lord Glorfindel. I am Twilight Sparkle, and these are my friends Spike, Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy," she said, smiling down at Fluttershy.

She regained consciousness just before Sam had come back with his own findings of kingsfoil, and the scent of crushed athelas was -at least by her own assessment- helping her pounding head and nausea greatly. Strider had just crushed it in a pot of water that was just finished boiling over the fire. He tended Frodo to the best of his ability while they made brief greetings. Sam, Merry, and Pippin were gathered around him, too concerned about Frodo to pay much attention to the elves for the moment.

"It's a pleasure," Fluttershy said weakly.

"Odd fellows you have taken up with, Dunadan," Glorfindel said to Strider in the strange tongue. Strider only shook his head, still concentrating on Frodo.

"What language are you speaking?" Twilight asked.

"It is Sindarin, one of the elven tongues, though some Men use it even in these late days," Glorfindel answered. He glanced over at Strider, and then stood and made his way to him. He spoke hurriedly to him in Sindarin, and Strider responded to him in the same tongue, sounding short and agitated. Glorfindel put his hand on Frodo's brow, and muttered in a similar-sounding tongue under his breath, while Arwen watched both Strider and the other elf anxiously.

"We need to get Frodo to my father," she said suddenly once Glorfindel pulled away from the hobbit. The other elf nodded in agreement.

"I have done all I could, and you, Dunadan, are much too weary to do more. He needs to see Elrond as soon as possible." The elf suddenly stood and walked away, saying, "I will prepare the horse."

Arwen sat down next to Strider. He closed his eyes, and used more athelas on the shoulder, but from what the others could see he was not getting the results he wanted. Arwen said something to him gently in Sindarin and took his free hand. Rarity noticed this, and glanced at the two in surprise. Before she could think more on her sudden suspicions, Glorfindel came back with his great white horse, Asfaloth. Strider stood and gently put Frodo on the steed.

"Who is to go with him?" Glorfindel asked them.

"I will," Strider said.

"I will take Frodo; I am a faster rider," Arwen argued, switching to Sindarin by habit.

"It is too dangerous," Strider said, a hard look in his eyes.

Glorfindel approached him, and in the same tongue, said, "Estel, you know she is a capable rider, and swifter than I am. Let us not argue further."

"It is the only task I can best you at, my lord," said Arwen with a small smile, and then turned to Strider once more. "You need to watch over the rest of his companions, my love."

Strider did not like the decision, but nodded in agreement regardless. Arwen jumped up on the horse and held onto Frodo. Her own horse, Rochamdir, neighed in dismay, and Glorfindel comforted the beast. Arwen smiled at her steed and then spoke to Asfaloth.

"Noro lim, Asfaloth, noro lim!" she whispered. With that, the horse took off.

After a couple more hours of rest -not the easiest thing to do when they were all riled up- the remainder of the group followed Asfaloth's trail. As they traveled, they heard the shrieks of the wraiths, and could not help but shudder at the screams. Fluttershy rode on Arwen's horse Rochamdir, a great steed, but gentle with the ailing Pegasus. The beast did not need to be led and followed willingly, so Rainbow Dash spent her time watching over her best friend, and the rest of the hobbits with the remainder of the group. Often Strider and Glorfindel would be at the front of the procession, quietly speaking with one another in Sindarin.

They tread through Trollshaws as quickly as they could in their weary state, eager to reach Rivendell by nightfall. They walked for hours with little food, and no rest. It was late afternoon when Fluttershy's throbbing head suddenly exploded into a full blown migraine. She held her head with both of her hooves, trying her best at muffling the groan that wanted so desperately to escape.

"Fluttershy?" Rainbow Dash asked, but Fluttershy could not hear her over the pounding of her head. "Strider, Fluttershy is seriously not doing well!" she called frantically.

Fluttershy didn't hear those last words, for she had finally passed out. The last thing she remembered hearing was the sound of running water.

Author's Note:

I decided to add Glorfindel from the book to help fit the plot. But like I said, this story will be using movie canon but will have some minor things from the books if it helps with the plot of the story.