One of the hunters who sets out at the same time as the companions is an Elf-maiden named Ruithel, famed as a huntress and a tracker. She wields one of the treasures of the Woodland Realm, the bow Penbregol, strung with mithril by the Dwarf-smith Gamil Zirak in the depths of time. Ruithel was recently promoted to command the guards who watch the Elf-path and the borders of the Realm, and is eager to prove herself worthy of the office and the bow that comes with it.

Ruithel laughs at any mortal hunters. Mirkwood has been her home for more than two thousand years; how can they call themselves hunters and woodwise when they have not watched these mighty oaks leap up young and green in the spring of the world? She also speaks softly but coldly about the humans who trespassed in the east of the Realm, and how they will be punished if they lay axe to tree again.