Author: Cathleen

Nominator: Dreamflower

2010 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Incomplete

Story Type: Incomplete  ✧  Length: Medium Length

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Mild violence.

Summary: The Fellowship has not travelled together long but already it is apparent the One Ring’s influence on Frodo Baggins is growing. As he struggles to keep his dark thoughts at bay, his companions are finding they, too, are subject to a subtle increase in moodiness. Before long, a blizzard traps the Fellowship in a cave where their problems escalate, and suspicions grow difficult to ignore...(WIP, approximately half finished.)

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Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 10

I always feel a little odd when I review a story that I am beta for, but this is a really fascinating tale! Cathleen has found a very interesting premise for a during-the-Quest AU. It's an adventure and a mystery and a thriller all wrapped up in one. She began the story quite some time ago, and had abandoned it, because she felt it needed a lot of work. She's taken it up again and put the work in to make it a very exciting and suspenseful story. The Fellowship has not been gone from Rivendell for very long: they are still in Hollin and have yet to encounter Caradhras. Yet already there is inexplicable tension between the Fellowship members; Frodo seems far more affected by the Ring, Pippin is acting secretive and oddly, Aragorn is strangely irritable and angry, Legolas is indecisive about things he knows he should not be, and Gandalf is puzzled by all this strange behavior. There are arguments and incidents that even puzzle the participants. Behind all this is a mysterious villain-- clearly NOT Sauron or Saruman. Who could it be? And then the Fellowship find themselves trapped in a carvern by a snowstorm and things go from bad to worse when Merry and Pippin go missing. This is the sort of AU that keeps you reading, and leaves you wondering what will happen next!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 10

Now, this is one of the more unusual "What we did during the parts of the quest that weren't mentioned in the original text" stories I've seen. While climbing up into the Misty Mountains Pippin has been drawn to collect blue pebbles, pebbles that seem to speak particularly to the youngest Hobbit in the Fellowship, even to sing and whisper to him. He's found them particularly in the beds of streams along which they've walked over over which they've crossed. When they take refuge in a cave against inclement weather, however, things begin to take a sinister turn. Frodo is suffering from nightmares and bouts of sleepwalking; Merry, on finding a couple of the pebbles that Pippin has inadvertently dropped, is under a compulsion to seek deep into the cave complex where they are camping, and is becoming most secretive; Legolas finds he seems to hear a music that compels him to hide what little he knows of Pippin's finds; and Aragorn and Gandalf find themselves frustrated as they try to make sense of everything, and to keep Frodo from hurting himself with his nightime wanderings. And, if, as Gandalf suspects, the source of these odd blue pebbles is due to the long-ago loss of artifacts crafted by the greatest of ancient Elven smiths, what does that mean to the quest? A fascinating mystery here, well told by Cathleen. I find myself awaiting each new installment eagerly.

Reviewed by: Pearl Took  ✧  Score: 8

This is a masterful work by Cathleen. With great skill and artistry the author has woven into the journey of The Fellowship a frightening glimpse into Middle-earth's past. Reminding us that anything can, and often does, happen. During that wonderful time - for fanfiction writers - while The Fellowship is walking, walking, walking from Rivendell to the Misty Mountains Pippin spies a pebble that seems to glow from within in a stream. He finds others, large and small, and each time The Fellowship is where there is water and he is drawn to them until finding more of them is all he can think about. The mood of the entire Fellowship has begun to sour. Even Gandalf is more crotchety. Legolas is keeping secrets. Frodo is sleep-walking. Aragorn is being a major pain, and soon the whole grumpy lot of them are camped in a cave to avoid the wicked weather. What is causing all the trouble? What are these luminous bits of rock that have Pippin so captivated? And what is lurking in that cave? Read this fascinating gap filler and find out.