The Fellowship of the Ring begins where The Hobbit left off: with a quaint little hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who has happened to gain possession of a magic Ring. Bilbo is now 111 years old, but he doesn't look a day over 50, which many of his neighbors consider quite unfair. But Bilbo is not his old self; he feels stretched quite thin, he tells his friend, Gandalf the wizard, "like butter that has been scraped over too much bread." Bilbo decides to leave his home in the Shire to travel, and he gives his home, Bag End, and all his possessions to his nephew and heir, Frodo Baggins. But it is difficult for Bilbo to leave the Ring. Bilbo wants it - it is his, after all - his precious. Bilbo's words and manner echo that of the evil, loathsome creature who had last possessed the Ring, and this awakens fear in Gandalf. What influence has it had on Bilbo? After much persuasion he convinces Bilbo to leave the Ring, but he warns Frodo to never wear it. And Gandalf goes in search of more information about this Ring. What he learns brings horror to the young hobbit and the peaceful Shire. For the Ring is the One Ring, created by the Dark Lord Sauron in ages past to bring all people under his dominion. It corrupts all who wear it, and it longs for its maker. Lost for generations, the Ring was thought by the Dark Lord to have been destroyed, but Sauron now knows it has been found. And he knows who has it. So begins the quest of a small hobbit to destroy a token of immense power and evil. Crossing Middle-earth with a few loyal friends, chased by the Ringwraiths - once-human servants of the Dark Lord - Frodo makes for Rivendell, the Elvish sanctuary of wisdom and power. There he hopes to deliver the Ring to those who can better use it and judge its fate. Arriving mortally wounded, Frodo finds that others have also come to Rivendell, for the Dark Lord is again growing in strength and influence, and the people have come for counsel. In a council of the wisest of the four free races - Elves, Dwarves, Men, and Hobbits - Frodo discovers that he alone can dispose of the Ring - by delivering it to the source of its power, the land of the Dark Lord Sauron, and casting it into the fires in which it was made. With reluctance, but recognizing the need, Frodo accepts this charge, and the council gathers a company of nine, led by Gandalf, to go with Frodo - the Fellowship of the Ring. They accompany Frodo across perilous mountain passes and down into the ruins of ancient Dwarf halls deep in the roots of the mountains. Not all survive to reach the outer doors. And of those who survive, not all remain true. Though they find comfort and rest for a time in the golden forest of Lothlrien, center of Elven power, they must eventually leave to continue their journey and decide how best to carry the Ring to its doom. The Lord of the Rings concludes in The Return of the King. Interactive CD-rom.