Weight of Human Weakness: 1. Chapter I

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1. Chapter I

The air smelled of the rain. Heavy clouds were in the West; drooping low upon the shoulders of the Misty Mountains, they spoke of the storm that raged over the Ford of Isen. The wind was getting stronger. Tearing over the Rohan capital, Edoras, it threatened approaching torrent. A lone figure stood atop of the Golden Hall, glinting defiantly in the gathering darkness. The sunset was swift, yet the change in light was almost imperceptible, so thick a gloom lay upon the Westfold. Coldness crept upon the silent world, stifling the breath, icing over the heart. Yet, the figure continued its unperturbed vigil, eyes swiftly roving across the plains. The night has almost but fallen, and the bitter wind lashed against the mighty seat of the House of Èorl when the figure showed first signs of faltering and shivered.

Out from the deeper shadows of the doorway arch, taller and heavier figure emerged, wrapped in a thick cloak and carrying another one, darker in colour, yet of a superior make. His approach was quiet, utterly lost were the sounds of his footsteps in the whistling wind, yet his advance was known well before he moved at all. Unfolding the mantle, he was just about to wrap it around the shoulders of the vigilante, when the clear voice cut through the rumble of the approaching storm like a sharp blade though soft flesh.

“I do not need the cloak, Èomer, for this cold cannot compare with the chill in my heart.”

He stepped up, carefully placed the cloth around her light frame, and stood next to her for a while, neither of them speaking. It began to rain; first drops were far and few between, merely damping the stonework.

“Let us go in. If there is any word, the King will send his messengers without delay,” he said and placed his hand upon her shoulder, trying to gently stir her towards fire and rest.

She did not move. The drizzle had now turned into a full – blown gale and her words were barely audible through the turmoil.

“He will come back. He will return… He is strong, he shall fight the darkness…” she turned to his brother, her face steeled against the terrible possibilities which played themselves in her mind, every day, ay, every second of his absence.

The young King of Rohan looked upon the woman who stood unflinching before the Nazgúl, the brave shieldmaiden who slayed the Witchking of Angmar and his great beast, and he felt her fear. It exuded through the look in her eyes, the way corners of her lips fell ever so slightly when she spoke of his return, the clench of her fists as she held them by her side. The fearless had become the fearful. Tiny drops of water clung to her eyelashes and he was not sure if it was the rain, which beat mercilessly upon them, or her tears. He pulled her close, and drawing the hood over the golden head, he listened to her quiet sobs.

In his mind, he knew that chances of Faramir’s return were small, yet he fought to keep the faith, to believe in the unbelievable, to hope even though he had no hope left. The War of the Ring taught him that valuable lesson. He thought the world was lost to the Shadow, yet the morning came, and the light, and the lost King of Gondor.

“Faramir is a warrior… greater than he believes himself to be. He shall survive. He will come back to you, Èowyn. Your husband will find his way home.”

Deep underneath the starry mantle, Èowyn winced in pain. She wanted to believe her brother, but the aching of her heart told a different story…

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.

Story Information

Author: Steel_Lily

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 4th Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/17/05

Original Post: 04/03/05

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