1. The Refuge of Henneth Annun
me off my guard, nor let Frodo see my pity - he is
quite clever enough to use such an opening I think.
He lied to me about the third member of their
party, but badly like one unaccustomed to lying. I
didn't like his reaction to Boromir's name either -
something is very wrong there I deem. How did my
brother die? Does Frodo know? Is that one of the
things he's hiding from me, and if so why?
And then there's that other name; Aragorn son of
Arathorn, the phantasmal heir who's haunted Gondor all
of my life. Why must this will'o the wisp surface now
when my country is fighting for her life and any
division might mean her fall - and the world of Men
Even if his claim were proven, were he to show
himself a veritable Elendil reborn, my father would
never accept him. We are Stewards of the House of
Anarion, Isildur's Heirs have naught to do with
Gondor. Whatever this Aragorn's intentions he can do
nothing but harm.
Yet - Boromir allied himself with this cipher, he
joined this odd company with its Dwarf and Elf and
Halflings rather than returning to Minas Tirith with
the answer to our riddling dream. Why? He must have
had a good - nay overwhelming - reason for doing so.
What was the business of this company, sent out by
Elrond Half-Elven and led by Mithrandir? Frodo
adamantly refuses to say. I cannot believe any evil of
Mithrandir but he is not here to answer for himself.
Like Boromir he is dead, fallen in Moria.
How did my brother die? There were Orc arms piled
at his feet and his face was calm and at peace, more
beautiful than I have ever seen it. The strangeness of
his passing in that Elven boat, filled with light as
with clear water, haunts me. Where was it taking him
I do not trust Frodo, a darkness clings to him. I
do not think he is evil in himself but a great evil
overshadows him - I can feel it. What brings two
Halflings out of the far north to wander the marches
of Mordor? I cannot let them go until I know.
They are so small, so very much afraid though they
hide it well. Halflings are a brave folk, whatever
else they may be. I asked Frodo for his parole and he
gave it. He will keep his word I think, lies and
deception do not come naturally to him for all he is
trying to use them now against me. I gave them back
their swords deeming them too small and unskilled to
pose much of a threat even if they should break their
Frodo's is of Elven make, the runes graven on its
blade proclaim it was forged three Ages ago in
Gondolin before its fall. His possession of such a
weapon is a point in his favor. According to legend
Elven blades will not suffer a sullied hand to wield
"Who gave you so ancient and puissant a weapon to
bear, Frodo Baggins of the Shire?" I asked as I handed
it to him.
"My Uncle, who found it in a Troll's hoard while on
a journey with Mithrandir long ago." he answered.
Another truth. This long friendship with Mithrandir
too speaks in his favor. I turned to the gardener; a
stout, fairhaired little fellow very unlike his frail,
almost ethereal master. His blade is an eket, a
Numenorean short sword, made long ago by our Northern
kin. "And who gave you your weapon, Master Gardener?"
"Strider - Aragorn I should say." he answered
"He gave swords to all of us to defend ourselves
against the dangers of the road." His master put in
"You are his leige men then?" I asked, mocking
Samwise looked annoyed but Frodo merely shook his
head. "He is our friend, and was our guide and
protector on the early stages of our journey." lifted
blue eyes to gaze levelly into my own. "But long ago
Hobbits swore allegiance to the Kings of the North in
return for our land. So in a sense we are his lieges,
as are you."
"We know nothing of this Aragorn in Gondor." I
answered, more sharply than I would have wished. "He
has never made any claim on us."
"I know. But Boromir gave him his allegiance
unasked. He wanted Aragorn to go with him to Minas
Can I believe this, that Boromir would accept the
pretender as his King? That he would take him to the
White City to confront our father and divide our
councils now, when all our fortunes hang in the
balance? My knowledge of my brother says no, this
cannot be true. Yet I could detect no lie in Frodo's
face or voice. Can it indeed be so?
Oh Boromir what thoughts and plans were in your
heart these months we have been parted? What
moved you to make the choices you did, and what led
you to your death and that eerie apotheosis?
A Man touches my shoulder, starting me out of my
thoughts. Bends to whisper in my ear. "Captain,
there's a creature, some kind of sneaking Orc, swiming
in the pool."
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