The Quest for the Ring...

"The burden for the ring won't be on your shoulders alone, young hobbit. We shall create a Fellowship of the Ring, Nine Walkers to go forth 'gainst the Nine Black Riders!" intoned that great elf-lord of nobility, he of the Elvin Gentry.

The young hobbit, little Stevo Nashins, his hair a disheveled mop after the arduous trek through the West, stood with head bowed, but an eager and determined gleam in his eye. "And what warriors would you send with me on this most perilous journey?"

"One of the Fair Ones, he from the FO, will declare who your mighty companions shalt be," stated the elf-lord, gesturing to a figure emerging from behind a far curtain.

"W-w-w-we will send some twuly gweat helpahs wif you, huh, huh, huh, huh," lisped the new speaker, a short Elmer Fudd wook-a-wike, er, look-a-like. "I will let Coach tell you."

Stevo's enthusiasm faltered at the sound of the buffoonish cartoonish character before him, but his heart stood firmly determined to battle on with whomever would walk beside him.

"Your first companions on this quest shall be an elvish long range archer, a war hammer-wielding dwarf, and this deadly canine," spoke the elf-lord, pointing to the three characters to step forward.

"What?" spake Stevo. "You mean this elvish fry-cook whose aim is questionable, this towering dwarf who had to have the faceguard of his helm modified to allow for his nose and whose handle of his war hammer is so long that it could be called 'pole-ish,' and this junkyard dog? Oh, well, I guess every band of warriors needs some second rank fighters."

"No, these will be in your first rank."

"But what of that fierce Gondorian swordsman, Boramar'e? Mighty were his sinews and prodigious were his thrusts!" exclaimed Stevo.

"Well, he turned traitor and went off to the big city of miNYs tirith to be the Man and get a Ring of his own, but he sliced open his own hand practicing his swordplay on a candle snuffer, I hear tell. It's unclear how could cut his own swordhand, but he was ever a fierce fighter."

"No, you don't get him, but here, take another hobbit on the trip!"

"What about some kind of wizard who can defend all manner of foemen?" posited Stevo.

"Er, no, we got nobody like that. How about having another hobbit?"

"There was that young Dragon from a far off land, who flamed fearsomely against the black and sable enemy of Saint Antonio a while back, burning them to the ground. What of him?" inquired Stevo.

"Oh, he was traded for a babbling brook that drifted off over the sea. Here's another hobbit to take along."

"My precious, my precious," croaked the new little brown creature.

"He's a hobbit? Why is he just clutching that rock and not sharing it with anyone?"

"That's just what he does. Look, Stevo, times have been really rough here in MiddleDesert. Hoards of treasure just don't grow on trees. We had to hock your mithril mail, and we sold your sword, Sting. But, you can wear this!"

"It's a hat..."

"It's a cap, and there's lots of space in there that will really help further down the road."

Stevo adjusted the straps of his backpack, and with a look of grim determination, once again set out on the quest for the Ring...


Meanwhile, in the next valley over, Aragorn was sharpening his sword to a razor edge, and Gandalf was honing his powers of fire and lightning, as these two agents of the Free Peoples prepared to pledge troth with Stevo in the valley of the sun, and join his search, to bring the Ring home...

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