12. Flame of the West
Every night, as the fire burns low and those around him begin to fall asleep, he draws his sword and cleans it. A rag, to polish the written blade – to wipe off the dust of travel and the blood of slain foes. Then he runs a whetstone along the edges, sharpening, refining, keeping Andúril as keen and as deadly as the day it was first forged.
Peering along the blade in the firelight, the engraved words seem to move, telling the tale of the sword and its bearers. Telling a tale of war, and of death. He does not allow himself to reflect on the lives this weapon has taken – Man, and Orc and Warg. In his hands, in this incarnation, the sword has barely tasted a drop of blood. But he knows how it was wielded in the hands of his forefather; how the blade shone with flame on the slopes of Orodruin before it was snapped like tinder. And he knows that it can shine again, and will shine again.
He tucks the whetstone away and takes up the rag once more, to smooth the slivers of metal away. Andúril is a precious thing, a priceless thing, but it is also a tool. In his grasp it will deal out death and pain and suffering. For war is coming, and this thing of beauty will become the tool of destruction.
Sliding the blade back into its scabbard, he winds his belt around it and lies down, the sword by his side. War is coming, and in this weapon lies the hope of a nation, and yet also the destruction of hope for so many. He prays it will be over swiftly.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.