Chapter 10

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The Fellowship climbs the glistening snowy slopes of Caradhras. Frodo suddenly loses his footing and falls, rolling down the slope towards Aragorn.

Frodo: "Ungh!"

Aragorn: "Frodo!"

The man helps the hobbit to his feet. Regaining his footing, Frodo's hand goes instinctively to his neck for the Ring. It is gone. Looking back up the slope, he sees the Ring lying in the snow glistening. Boromir sees it & picks it up by its chain.

Aragorn [quietly]: "Boromir."

Boromir is oblivious. His face seems sad.

Boromir [softly]: "It is a strange fate we should suffer so much fear & doubt...over so small a thing. Such a little thing."

He reaches out a gloved hand to touch the Ring.

Aragorn: "Boromir!"

Boromir looks up, pulled from his trance.

Aragorn: "Give the Ring to Frodo."

Boromir walks slowly down the slope to the ranger & the hobbit. Aragorn's hand is on the hilt of his sword. He holds out the ring.

Boromir: "As you wish..."

Frodo does not wait & grabs the ring sharply.

Boromir: "...I care not."

Boromir jokingly tousles Frodo's hair, turning to resume climbing. Frodo looks on suspiciously. Aragorn releases his grip from his sword.

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Gandalf's staff drives into the snow, forging a way through a growing blizzard as Gandalf guides the Fellowship along a narrow ledge on the Pass. Legolas runs out ahead, moving with ease across the top of the snow, staring into the blinding storm.

Saruman: "Cuiva nwalca Carnirasse; nai yarvaxea rasselya (Wake up cruel Redhorn! May your horn be bloodstained)!"

Legolas: "There is a fell voice on the air!"

Gandalf: "It's Saruman!"

With a rending echo, a horde of rock slabs & boulders falls from the mountain's arms. The Fellowship shove themselves flat against the sheer cliff wall to avoid the onslaught of stone.

Aragorn: "He's trying to bring down the mountain! Gandalf, we must turn back!"

Gandalf: "No!"

Gandalf steps out onto the ledge, rising on the snow.

Gandalf: "Losto Caradhras, sedho, hodo, nuitho i 'ruith (Sleep, Caradhras, be still, lie still, hold your wrath)!"

The wizard's voice is drowned out by a more terrible cry in the maelstrom. His power is not enough to go against the head of the Wizard Order.

Saruman: "Cuiva nwalca Carnirasse; nai yarvaxea rasselya; taltuva notto-carinnar (Wake up cruel Redhorn! May your bloodstained horn fall upon enemy heads)!"

Lightning strikes the tip of Caradhras, sending a second avalanche of white ice onto the Fellowship. Legolas snatches Gandalf from the edge, pulling him against the cliff. Wings sprout from Raiden's back covering Miyuki as the dragon shields his mistress from the ice-fall. The avalanche hits & cascades over the Fellowship, the snow burying them completely. After a moment, they emerge.

Boromir: "We must get off the mountain! Make for the Gap of Rohan and take the west road to my city!"

Aragorn: "The Gap of Rohan takes us too close to Isengard!"

Gimli: "If we cannot pass over the mountain, let us go under it. Let us go through the mines of Moria."

In Gandalf's eyes there is a shadow of doubt, of fear that lies unsaid. He is conflicted. Seeing the fear glinting in the wizard's eyes, Miyuki wonders what it could be that the great wizard could fear so much.

Gandalf [grimly]: "Let the Ring bearer decide."

Frodo looks distressed as the responsibility for making a decision passes to him. Boromir holds Merry & Pippin to him. Both are cold & extremely pale.

Boromir: "We cannot stay here! This will be the death of the hobbits!"

Gandalf: "Frodo?"

Frodo: "We will go through the mines."

Gandalf: "So be it."

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