Allegiance

by Queen of Gondor and Evermind

II  III 

Chapter 1: Little Brother

A small child ran along the cobblestone pathways of Minas Tirith. The bright morning sun shone fiercely down upon him, yet his thirst for the outdoors would not allow him to go back into the long, quiet halls of the Steward. He stood still now, watching as a bird soared through the air. How Boromir wished he could be up there, too!

He looked down at the small stick in his hand. The stick that he pretended was a sword. Though, Boromir cared much for this small stick. His father had gotten it engraved with delicate designs and Boromir’s name so it would belong to him more. He longed to fight for his country, and rid the enemy from his lands. But with that, also came the thought that the enemy would already have to be in his lands. They would have to be under attack. He sighed and searched for other children with whom he could play.

He approached a long, narrow, dark pathway. He stood still, looking into its black depths. With a deep breath, he stepped into the darkness, and raised his stick. This would be the perfect place in which he could practise fighting. He walked slowly, looking around, as if to find Orcs ready to ambush. He felt a small stone beneath his foot, and winced at the slightly sharp poke, but he endured it, for that is what a real fighter would do. He would pass by the small annoyances and focus only on the task ahead of him. This is what Boromir did. Part of his task was to make it through the darkness safely, but the other was to protect himself from the vile creature which could be hiding in the blackest parts of the darkness.

He shivered as a chill breeze caught him in the darkness, he began to move a little faster. Soon, he could see a faint light up ahead, but this light was not that of the morning sun, it was that of a small torch. He picked his stick up from his side once more, and held it in ready, if need be to defend himself. The light got closer and closer to him, soon he could make out the small piece of wood used for the torch, and with a quick movement, he poked hard the creature coming towards him.

“Ow! Why did you hurt me with your stick, young Lord?” It was the voice of an older person. Boromir recognized the voice of the person of that of Tumir, one of his grandfather’s servants.

“Oh! I am sorry, Tumir. I was too caught up in my game. I thought you were an enemy, perhaps even an Orc.” Boromir said, shame in his voice.

Tumir laughed. “Do not worry yourself! It is nothing that I cannot handle. But we must put aside such small matters for the time. Please step out into the light with me.” Tumir found Boromir’s hand and walked with him out into the bright morning light. “I was sent by your father to find you immediately. You must come with me now. You may play your games later, but at the moment, there are more important things than chasing Orcs in a dark passageway.”

“I do not understand, Tumir. What is the matter? What is going on?” Boromir still was a hold of Tumir’s hand, and Tumir was leading him away.

“Young Lord, your mother is giving birth to a child. You are about to have a brother or sister. It is requested, no, expected, of you to be waiting to greet your new sibling. Your father would be very troubled were you not there, as would your mother and grandfather.” Tumir was keeping a steady pace, and Boromir had broken into a small jog to keep up with him. “Hurry now, your father will be disappointed if you are not there, and I already am going to receive a small lashing for taking so long to find you. You need to find places to play which are much closer to the hall, and the seventh level, my lord. I think I have seen each and every passageway on the sixth level, today, no thanks to you.” Tumir turned his head for a moment and smiled at Boromir.

Boromir grinned. Tumir always found a way to make him grin, even if Tumir had torn him away from his game. Though, Boromir was slightly happy at this. He had been getting quite lonely, and even a little scared in the dark passageway, and hearing Tumir’s friendly voice had been like a blessing from the Elves. It had been nothing more to expect from a five year old.

Tumir now approached the stairway to the seventh level and pulled Boromir in. Up they went, Boromir still jogging to keep up with Tumir. At long last they reached the seventh level, and then Tumir started to walk faster.

“Tumir! Tumir!” Boromir came to a stop and yelled to his older friend. “Are we not allowed to walk but a little slower? I am quite out of breath, and father does not enjoy speaking to me very much if I am to be breathing in very deeply, and therefore making loud sounds. Let us walk there, I am sure we will not be late.”

“Very well, young Lord, but if your father asks why we were late, you will say what?”

“It was all my fault, father. Tumir wanted me to be out of breath when I was talking to you, but I would not allow it, so I made him walk slower by my side.” Boromir had a sly grin on his face.

“I am sure you will say those exact words, too!” Tumir laughed. “Come now, if we must walk, we must walk fast.”

“Very well, Tumir! Let us walk fast, but not too fast!” Boromir smiled, and they began to walk into a long hall.

There was no sound in the hall. Only the echo of their footsteps. “It is so quiet, Tumir.”

“It is expected to be quiet. We are in the halls of the Stewards, and Kings, we cannot make loud noise, it would not bode well with your grandfather, or your father.”

“Everything is expected here. Do I not have a choice in anything?”

“You have a choice in many things, or at least you will. You are young, you have been here for but five years, when you are older, you will make your own choices. It is the choices of your fathers that make certain you are safe. It is the choices of your fathers that make sure you grow up well, that you grow up respecting those who deserve respect.”

“But, Tumir, it is also the choices of my fathers that can hurt the most. It is their choices that stop me from doing things that so many other children get to enjoy, simply because they are not of higher blood than I.”

Tumir smiled. “You are very wise, my friend. You will most certainly be a most respected Steward, when your time comes, of course.”

“I hope it does not come. People fear to speak to those of high blood, they fear the consequences. I want to befriend the people, not tower over them, not making them fear me. That is far from my mind. I want to be a captain of the citadel, of the guard. I wanted to be respected because I can fight for those I love. I don’t want to be respected just because I sit on a throne all day and merely make the decisions, decisions which might not even be worth the making.”

“I am sure you will be a captain. It would be foolish if you were not.” Tumir stopped now, in front of a large door. He raised a hand and knocked twice.

A man with dark hair opened the door. “At last! You have brought the boy! They were getting very restless. I was afraid you would be late.”

“So was I. But yes, here he is. Has the child been born yet?” Tumir asked, obviously, he was nervous.

“No, not yet, so you were not late. You and the boy must wait on the seat right beside you. I will call when the child has been born.”

“Yes, Erethor. We will be here.”

Erethor bowed his head to Boromir and closed the door.

“Well, have a seat, young Lord.” Tumir sat down on the stone bench, and watched as Boromir had to climb up, he was still small.

“Why do you call me young lord?” Boromir asked.

“You are a young Lord, though. What else would I call you?”

“Perhaps….my name.” Boromir stared at the floor.

“It would not be proper. But, do you not like what I call you.”

“Did I say that? No. I do like what you call me, it makes me feel important.”

“You are important though.”

“How can I be? I am so little. Have I done anything to make me important? Have I?”

Tumir thought about this for a moment. Boromir was outsmarting him, Boromir was testing him. “You think I am going to say that you are important because of your lineage?”

“It is what you were going to say. At least, it is what you would have said if you had not heard all that I had to tell you this morning. I am right, aren’t I? I am classified as important only because of my blood.”

“Yes you are important because of your bloodline. No, you have not done anything of great importance in your short life so far, but it doesn’t mean you wont. I can tell by the way you are, that you are going to be loved by your people, you are already loved. People find you charming, and you are very wise, for your age.”

“I hope so. I hope I am going to be loved because of what I do for the people, not only because I am the ruler. I hope I will be a beloved captain, someone who could change things, for the best.”

Tumir gazed at Boromir for a moment. If ever he was to have a child, he would want his child to be like Boromir; loving people for what is in their hearts, for who they are, not what they are. He watched as Boromir got down onto the floor, and at last Tumir spoke. “What are you looking for?”

“Something that is of interest to me.”

“Why do you look down there?”

“Because there is nothing up there.”

“Ah.” Tumir watched as Boromir began to trace to patterns in the stone with his fingers.

“These patterns are beautiful, Tumir. You should come and look at them.”

Tumir grinned. “No, it would not be proper.”

“No, not proper.” Boromir sighed.

“I studied these patterns in the stone when I was a boy. Go and look under that window, on the stone. Tell me what you see. Look carefully.”

Boromir started to crawl towards the window. When he got to the window, he started to trace the patterns. Suddenly he let out a gasp and turned to face Tumir. “Your name is here! How did it come?”

“Not so loud! It is not something that I am particularly proud of. These are ancient halls, it is wrong of me to have carved my name in there.”

“But it is so small. Nobody can see it. When did you carve it?”

“When I was a boy. My father was a healer, and one day I hat to wait out here for him. It took very long, and I started to get bored. So, being a child, I found something to entertain myself. I began tracing the patterns with my fingers, then I wanted to be able to put something else there, something else I, or some other bored child could trace. So I got a small rock, and began to carve. I am not very happy with it. You must not tell anyone, alright?”

“On my honour.” Boromir whispered. He was happy that someone had actually gone out of the bounds, and done something incredibly wrong.

“The child has been delivered safely.” Erethor stood at the open doorway and announced. “Boromir, you may come in. Tumir, Lord Ecthelion hast need of his new grandson’s room being prepared. You must see to that. Come, Boromir!” Erethor held out his hand.

“Goodbye, Tumir. I will see you later.”

“Good day, young Lord.” Tumir smiled and bowed, then headed down the long hall.

Boromir took hold of Erethor’s hand and was led into the room. The first room was a medicinal room, in it were kept small jars of herbs, and medicines. It smelled sour to Boromir. Erethor led him through a doorway and down a small hall. When he arrived at the doorway at the end of the small hall, Erethor stopped. “Are you prepared to meet your brother?”

“I have a brother!” Boromir’s face beamed.

“You do. Come now.” Erethor opened the door. In a bed at the far end of the room, Finduilas sat. She was gazing down at a small bundle in her arms. Tears stained her face, and wet ones shone in the light from the lanterns around the room. Denethor stood to one side of the bed. He looked proud at the sight of his new born son, and Boromir caught a glimpse of a tear on his father’s face. Ecthelion stood beside Denethor, happy that his son now had two son’s, happy that Finduilas was alright.

Finduilas looked up and noticed Boromir. She smiled at him. “Come Boromir, come meet your brother.”

Boromir walked forward, not sure why his mother was crying. Everything was alright, there was no need to cry. When he approached the bed, he asked, “Why do you cry, mother?”

“Oh, Boromir, I cry merely because I am so happy. Would you like to hold him?”

Boromir nodded his head. Finduilas lowered the bundle into Boromir’s small arms. “What is his name?”

“His name is Faramir. Do you like it?” Denethor spoke up, smiling.

“Yes, father, I do like it.” Boromir gazed down at Faramir. He had seen small children before, but never had he held one. As he held Faramir, this whole new feeling came into his heart, and he felt so different. He would never let anything happen to his brother, whom he loved so much. And so Boromir leant his head down close to Faramir, and whispered, “I will look after you, Little Brother.”



Chapter 2: A Cloak Of Stars And Twilight

The small dark haired boy ran, laughing up the length of the long hall to where his father waited. Denethor sat in his great chair carven of white stone, several servants beside him. As he saw Boromir appraching, Denethor rose siftly to his feet. Reaching down, he swept the child into his arms. Boromir shrieked with laughter and the dark hall echoed with mirth. Denethor smiled at his firstborn son.
“Come, Little captain” he said “What hast thou done this day?”“Lessons with Turgon.”Boromir replied diffidently. “Letters are very boring Papa. I would far rather do weapons practise!”Denethor gave a short barking laugh.
“Thou wilt make a fine steward yet, Little Captain” He laughed, “And such men must be learned in lore, and in many things
beside the art of weapons”
Boromir gave a careless shrug of his slender shoulders.
“And what hast thou done Papa?” He enquired, imitating perfectly his father’s manner of speaking. Denethor laughed again.
“I have recieved mesages from Rohan, Little Captain. What dost thou know of the Rohirrim?”
“They are a lesser people than we.” Boromir recited “Men of the twighlight, not so great either in arts or warfare as the Numenoreans, but a goodly people. They are our allies since the days of Cirion, the twelfth steward, who made an alliance with Eorl, the barbarian King, and brought them under the rule of Gondor.”
“Very good” Denethor remarked with a wry smile, "But not wholly acurate. The Rohirrim are not barbarians, but a great warrior people. They live simply because they choose to do so, and have little care for letters or for art. But they are a proud people, fierce, strong and noble, and their skill in horses and in deeds of arms is unmatched. Never forget that, Little Captain, for although they too have come under the shadow of these days, yet they have ever proved true allies. They are
faithful, even to death, and wise after their own fashion. Do not scorn them for lesser men, my son, for although their triumphs have been lesser than those of our people, so also have their sins been lesser than ours. For ours is a corrupt nation, Boromir. Ever we have grown in pride, and ever we have less of which to be proud. Once the Numenoreans were favoured, Kings among men, but we have fallen from grace. And it is thus, maybe that the Rohirrim are a better people than we. At the least they have never wavered in their alliegance." Denethor paused, noticing a stubborn frown creasing Boromir's features. He sighed.
"Dost thou know what the word 'Alliegance' means, Little Captain?" Boromir did not answer, but Denethor knew by the set of the little one's jaw that he did not.
"Allies, Boromir, are the greatest gift a man can have. An ally is one who will aid you when you have need, one whom thou wilt protect with thy life, one whom
thou wilt aid in turn when they call.”
“An ally is a friend then?” Boromir asked, frowning slightly.
“Not quite.” his father replied. “We of Gondor once had an alliance with the Corsairs of Umbar, but there was never friendship between our peoples. But an alliance can also go deeper - that which we have with the men of Rohan is of that sort. The men of Rohan, Little Captain, have sworn with their blood to protect Gondor in her hour of need, and we have sworn the like to them. May that alliegance never fail!”Denethor smiled at his son. “Knowing thy allies, Boromir, is one way in which a steward must be strong.”
Boromir turned to look at him, his clear grey eyes so innocent and beautiful that Denethor felt a powerful surge of love within his chest for his small son.
“Who are thy allies, Little Captain?” he asked softly.
Boromir sat silent for a moment, as if thinking.
“Faramir.” he said at last. “Faramir is my ally.” Denethor smiled.
“Of that I am glad, Little Captain.”
Lifting the child from his lap, Denethor stood up.
“Come, Boromir,” he said “I have a gift for thy mother and it is time that thou was’t abed.” Denethor lifted from beside his throne a package wrapped in soft cloth. Then, taking the little one by the hand, father and son walked side by side from the great hall.


Finduilas sat in her high chamber in the silver tower of Ecthellion. The walls of the tower were of white stone, and from her high window, sometimes, on a clear day, Finduilas could descry far off the glint of sunlight upon the sea of her home. The sea! How her heart yearned for it. To feel once again the spray upon her face, the white sand beneath her bare feet. Sometimes, when the wind blew southwards up the Anduin, she could taste the tang of salt upon the wind, and if she closed her eyes, she could imagine that she stood once again within her brother’s tower of Dol Amroth. Finduilas turned from the window, feeling tears well up in her throat. She missed her home. Held safe within this stony city, her heart longed to hear again the plaintive cry of the gulls.
Finduilas shook her head slightly, bending her face close to the soft bundle she held in her arms. She put her pale cheek to Faramir’s sleeping face, breathing in the soft, clean, comforting scent of the babe. Holding Faramir as tighty as she could without waking him, Finduilas whispered a lullabye.

"Sleep thou well my little princeling, sleep thou well my golden one,
Dream of white shores and of silver, dream of songs as yet unsung.
Sleep thou well my little princeling, sleep and dream of far off lands,
Hear the song of the great sea calling, white waves falling on jewelled sands.
Sleep thou well my little princeling, dream of golden childhood days,
Of the salt tang in the wind of evening, when a lonely piper plays.
Sleep thou well my little princeling,see where a lonely sea bird sails,
Dream of white wings in sunrise soaring, dream of a ship with silken sails.
Sleep thou well my little princeling, hear in thy heart the white gulls cry,
Hear the song of white sails swelling, till the day at last draws nigh.
Sleep thou well my little princeling, safe from all that hurts or harms,
Till the sun heralds in the morning, sleep thou safe here in my arms."

Denethor stood silent in the doorway, watching his wife as she sang. Finduilas was so beautiful. Sometimes she seemed to him to be more beautiful than should be possible for any mortal woman. Her back was to him, but he watched the way her soft brown hair swayed as she mooved, the way her blue gown sat about her slender waist. The tales said that the people of Dol Amroth were descended of elven line, and well he could believe it. It was not only their elven grace, but the strange affinity they had for all of the land, and deep within their hearts too, he knew, lay the sea longing of the elves. The sea! Finduilas longed for it, he knew that. It troubled him sometimes, his selfish possession of her, but he knew too that he would die rather than relinquish his beautiful wife to the mysterious sea.
Boromir clasped his father’s hand tightly, smiling up into his face. As Finduilas ended her song, Denethor took the wrapped parcel in his hand and drew away the covering cloth. Boromir could not help giving a small gasp. It was a cloak Denethor held in his hands, the most beautiful garment Boromir had ever seen.
Hearing Boromir’s gasp of astonishment, Finduilas spun about, and as she did so, Denethor wrapped the beautiful cloak about her. The material hung in soft folds of midnight blue, thick and warm, the colour of the sea in the twilight. Stars were wrought upon it in silver, and where they caught the light they seemed to sparkle as if truly the stars of heaven themselves had come to grace Finduilas’s slender frame.
Feeling the soft touch of the material, the babe in Finduilas’s arms awoke, but he did not cry out. He lifted his arms in the air, reaching for the marvellous cloak, until he clasped within one tiny fist a silver star. Finduilas watched him for a moment, and then, lifting her eyes to meet Denthor’s joyful gaze, her lips curved in a little half-smile.
Denethor swept his wife and sons into his embrace, and for a single moment in time, it seemed to him that life was truly worth the living.




Chapter Three: The Blood Of Numenor Runs True

The day was yet young, and Denethor and Finduilas strolled arm in arm about the summer garden. The sun lit the white roses that bloomed there with a blush of pink and gold, and Denethor smiled to see them. The white roses were Finduilas's favourite flowers, and long had been the labour of growing them in this stony city. It was pleasing to see them at last come to full blosssom. Finduilas smiled back at him, and gently carressed one of the soft pearly petals with her slender fingers. She knew what he was thinking. She always knew. Once he had made the mistake of cutting some rose stems for her, but the sight of the cut stems had so distressed her that he half wondered wether the tales of her elven heritage were true. Finduilas had always had a great love for things of nature not made nor shaped by mortal hands, and to see them broken thus by his thoughtlessness had been more than she could bear. Finduilas, to him was like an elf queen, beautiful, ethereal and untouchable, not suited to these times of violence to which she had been born.

Shouts of laughter echoed from the furthest balcony, and as the steward and his wife approached, they saw their two small sons dressed all in navy blue playing at war with their little swords. With a soft cry, Finduilas turned and fled back towards the citadel. Denethor sighed. She could never bear to see her sons play with swords, for Finduilas's heart could not comprehend violence, and to her, to see such young children playing at war was a thing of unspeakable loathing.

Denethor shook his head slightly, watching the boys fencing, but then he smiled. The progress of both boys was pleasing. They would grow to be skilled swordsmen in time, for both had a natural agility and surefootedness. Already Boromir had an eye for opportuniy, thrusting with his small blade wherever Faramir for a moment left himself unguarded. Faramir fought differently to his brother, more defensively, and he seemed less willing to strike back. Still, Denethor supposed that was to be expected. Faramir was younger and smaller than his brother, and his cautiousness was not without warrant. Still, there was to Denethor's eye, something strange about the way that Faramir played. He was almost as skilled as his brother already, yet he seemed not to enjoy the game. Faramir's hands, Denethor noticed were like Finduilas's, softer and more gentle than his own. The hands, Denethor thought, of a lover, not of a fighter.

Denethor walked the length of the courtyard to where his sons were playing. They stopped their game and looked enquiringly up at him with their bright eyes. While Boromir's eyes were the same steely blue-grey as his father's, again Faramir's were different. His eyes were deeper, more penetrating, and Denethor had an unsettling feeling that Faramir could see right through him. The two boys stood to attention as their Denethor spoke,

“Boromir, you have extra lessons with Turgon this evening.”

Boromir sighed, and a rebellious frown wrinkled his forehead.

“And please remember, little captain, I will be expecting a small summary of your lesson.” Denethor laughed, touselling Boromir's hair.

Denethor glanced at Faramir. The boy had not moved, but still gazed up at his father. Faramir's eyes were depthless, and Denethor found it impossible to tell what his son was thinking. How Faramir reminded him of Finduilas! He had her same economy of movement, her same grace and gentleness with all living things. But there was something of himself in Faramir too, Denethor realised; of himself when he had been younger and less hardened by years of war. How young and foolhardy he had been then, full of ideals, and grand schemes for victory and the glory of Gondor. Then he had dreamed that the shadow in the East could be overthrown, that the hurts of the world could yet be healed by mortal hands. Faramir, too, had dreams. Denethor felt slightly sadenned. Eventually, he knew, his son's hopes would fade as his had. Yet still there was something strange about the boy. Faramir had an intensity and concentration that was lacking in Boromir, and an air of unassumed nobility was on him, even at this young age. There was a gentle pride about Faramir, different to Boromir's rebellious confidence. In Faramir, Denethor realised, by some strange chance, the blood of Numenor ran nearly true. Unsettled by his son's attentive gaze, Denethor turned and strode away.

The sun was already sinking into the Western sea before Denethor at last ended his long conference with Ecthelion, and went again in search of his sons. As he rounded the corner of the high white terrace he paused suddenly.

A tall, lean man was perched upon the white balustrade, overlooking the gardens, and the red sun sinking behind him shone upon his long dark hair. The man's face was strong, noble and finely formed, yet there was a harshness about it, and a weariness that seemed more than the weariness of mortal men. Denethor would not have called the man handsome, yet he had a quality about him that drew the eye, an inate strength that was somehow tangible. His eyes were dark and impenetrable, and his skin roughened and weathered by many years of toil. yet the look in his eyes was kind, and he smiled, speaking with a voice soft, but full of authority. He was clad in a tunic of dark blue, worn and weather stained, yet well cared for. Faramir sat nestled in the man's arms, and his grey eyes gazed intently up, listening to all that the man had to say.

Denethor watched without interrupting for a moment, looking at the way Faramir's eyes shone as he gazed at the captain. Denethor's eyes swept the perimeter, seeking out Boromir. There. He sat kicking his heels against the balustrade, looking out over the garden as he listened to the man speak. But of what?

Denethor strained his head as if to hear better, but could not, and walked several paces towards the little group. His back was firm and straight as he strode forward. His black robe swept the floor. He could hear snatches of the man's tale, he caught the name of Numenor, and for some reason that angered him. Denethor stepped out from behind the wall, and his grey eyes were cold as he gazed upon the weatherbeaten captain.

“My sons, please go and wash up for your dinner.”

Denethor’s face was emotionless as he spoke. He watched as the three dark haired figures turned to face him.
And as if in great effort, Boromir replied,

“Yes father.”

The tall captain, Thorongil, gently lowered Faramir to the ground and looked up.

“I am sorry, my lord, for preoccupying your sons this evening.” He bowed his head slightly, looking deferentially at Denethor. The steward felt a stab of annoyance.

Boromir took a gentle hold of Faramir’s hand, and, bowing slightly to their elders,the two ran along the cobled pathway towards the halls.

Denethor remained with his gaze fixed upon Thorongil. There was strange feeling within him, almost of jealousy. His sons never looked at him like that, never sat in awe of his tales. Suddenly, Denethor wondered how old Thorongil was. His dark hair was only lightly flecked with grey, yet Thorongil, had been a captain of Gondor in Ecthellion's day, and looked no different now than he had then. In him also, Denethor guessed, the blood of Numenor ran strong.

As he made to talk, a man clad in the livery of the tower ran up to him.

“My lord Denethor!" he exclaimed "Thy son Boromir did not appear for his lesson this afternoon. I would have set out to find him, but I knew not where to look. Please forgive me.”

Denethor’s eyes flashed back to look at Thorongil as Turgon spoke.

“I will not set blame upon you, Turgon, I shall speak to Boromir.”

“Thank you, my lord.” Turgon bowed and left.

“I see that my sons were preoccupied with your tales this evening.” Denethor spoke coldly. He could still see the shining look in Faramir’s eyes as he had gazed at the man who was not his father.

“If I had known your sons had lessons, I would not have kept them.”

“Do not fill their heads with tales of Elves -- they are meant to study history, not children’s tales. Do not speak of long ago battles, of long broken alliances, and long forgotten allegiances. They mean nothing now.”
Thorongil bowed his head slightly, and Denethor turned away, the feeling of jealousy still gnawing at him.


(This tale is currently dormant,  but may be added to in the future)