5. The coin's two sides
Summary: It turns out you can serve two masters.
Next morn, Captain called muster.
"Remember well our duty," Ránion told Poros's assembled soldiers. "We defend Gondor's integrity: maintain peace, keep Haradrim out. Clear?"
Someone shifted. Ránion turned sharply, stared...
"Sir?" Celbaran heard himself ask. "When the Khan's men come, these a-lehani – shan't they run?"
"And if they seek escape by the Crossings? Captain," he asked, "must we lend our swords to Harad's vengeance?"
Silence, then: "Say rather, to Gondor's interests."
Gondor's interests. Later, Celbaran spies the woman, wearily balancing squabbling children on either arm.
Appeasement is not peace, yet impoverished power, Gondor – they – will kill even for that.
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.