Daughter of Kings
Chapter Eighteen: Seek For The Sword That Was Broken...
After Gandalf's departure, things worsened more than ever. The wizard's
coming had been like a new dawn to a sky that has been dark overlong,
which shines briefly golden before it is obscured again by dark
Another year passed. The war became ever fiercer upon the borders, no
more petty skirmishes with scattered bands of roving orcs, but vicious
battles, strategically planned by an enemy who seemed to have a great
knowledge of everything that passed in the realm.
Theoden had sickened again at Gandalf's departure, and now his malady
seemed worse. He seemed not to recognise Eowyn or the other women who
served him, but must ever have Wormtongue at his side. Theodred and
Wormtongue had come near to blows again over who should be promoted to
captain of the King's guard after old Gamling had retired to his
fastness in the Eastfold. Theodred for this time had overruled the
worm, and Hama had been promoted to captain against Grima's wishes.
One night in early July Eowyn had woken, troubled by a strange dream.
it had seemed to her that she saw a young man, pale with dark hair and
deep, penetrating blue eyes. He wore the tree of Gondor blazoned upon
his surcoat, and he stood high upon white walls that Eowyn guessed to
be those of Minas Tirith. The young man looked up at the moon curved
like a silver bow, and his face was troubled. His hand played about the
hilt of a great sword, and he whispered words that Eowyn could not
hear. Then the dream had changed, and she had seen the man again
looking up at one upon a bay horse. This other was so like to the first
man that Eowyn guessed that they must be near kindred, although the
rider was broader across the shoulders, and looked to be the elder of
the two. The man on the horse smiled sadly, and it seemed to Eowyn that
she heard his voice. 'Remember today, little brother.' Then he had
turned and ridden away, and his brother watched him go, his eyes dark
and unfathomable. Then there had been a noise of wind and a great rain
storming from the east. The sound of hooves galloping, and Eowyn had
woken in the quiet darkness of her own chamber breathless and terrified
by some unmistakable knowledge of doom.
It was but three days later that Eomer returned, riding as escort to a
tall dark man upon a bay horse: Boromir, eldest son of Denethor the
steward of Gondor.
As Boromir sat at the King's board that night, he told the tale of his
journey. Eowyn was fascinated by the tall man, swift and sure as the
sons of Eorl, and quite unlike to any man of Gondor she had met before.
He was darkly handsome, and Eowyn could tell merely from the way he
moved that he was an expert soldier. His eyes were grey-blue and a
ready smile played about his mouth. Noble he was, courageous and proud,
and Eowyn found herself drawn to him, sensing in him a brother in arms,
a kindred spirit.
"...A dream came to my brother in a troubled sleep..." Boromir was saying, and Eowyn shivered, remembering her own dream.
"...ever and anon that dream would come to him, and once, it came even
unto me. In that dream, it seemed to me that the eastern sky grew dark,
but a pale light lingered in the west. It seemed that I heard a voice,
though whence it came I could not tell. A riddle the voice told me and
nothing more, yet I awoke to a great dread and unquiet." Boromir fell
silent, and his face was troubled.
"What was the riddle?" Eomer asked, his eyes curious and lit with a strange light.
When Boromir spoke it was in a voice quite unlike his own, and he chanted the lines softly to the darkened hall:
"Seek for the sword that was broken, In Imladris it dwells.
There shall be counsels taken, stronger than Morgul spells.
There shall be shown a token that doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's bane shall waken, the halfling forth shall stand."
A hush had fallen over the table. The red light of the fire flickered
on the tapestried walls and shone upon Boromir's face with a strange
fateful light. There was silence.
"Seek for the sword that was broken..." Eowyn whispered. She did not
understand the words, but they stirred in her some strange half-memory
of one whom she had never met, yet seemed to know as intimately as she
knew herself. She could not have worded it this way, even to herself,
but the words spoke to her of courage and great deeds of a long
"And where is Imladris?" she wondered
Boromir turned as if seeing her for the first time. "My father would
tell me only this," he replied, his eyes matching her own. "Imladris
was of old the name of the valley that is called Rivendell, the home of
Elrond half-elven, a master in lore. What the sword that was broken may
be, I do not know, nor the meaning of the words Isildur's bane.But it
is the answer to this that I seek."
The company was silent again, pondering the words of the Steward's
heir. Eowyn's eyes rested upon Grima the Wormtongue, and the look on
his face was that of one who has finally found a key that they have