Letters from Faramir

by Agape4Rivendell

VIII.

Part I

From Faramir - as transcribed by Peregrin Took

Hullo, Boromir,

Pippin here. Now, don’t get yourself all concerned. Faramir is doing well. He’s right here beside me, but he was wounded a little and so is not able to write. So, I came along just to say hullo and offered my services, you know I’m in the Livery of Gondor now! Yes, it’s a long tale, one you would enjoy.

Faramir is jabbing me and insisting that I start his letter, but a bit of explanation is warranted. You may be wondering how a Hobbit (you would say Halfling, but I’m writing this letter!) – how a Hobbit came about being able to write; you didn’t know that about me, did you? Well, let me tell you. As future Thain of Tuckborough, master of the Shire-moot, and captain of the Shire-muster, in the line of Gerontius, the Old Took,

I am not allowed to continue. Faramir is being quite firm. I must start his letter. I’ll get back to my explanation soon.

Brother,

Oh, and I’m not the least bit bothered by writing a letter to you even though you’re dead. In fact, I think it’s a good idea and I might write you myself seeing as Faramir is so impatient. He’s trying to call the Warden, so I’ve promised him I won’t interrupt anymore.

Brother,

I am told there have been meetings all morning with Aragorn, Mithrandir, Imrahil, and our warriors. That is probably why I haven’t seen Father yet. They plan go to Barad-dur.

I was unable to give Father the time he needed. Two hundred men were not enough to stay the Enemy at Osgiliath, no matter their worth as warriors. The Enemy was too great and we were quickly over run at the Rammos. I don’t remember much of the battle. I had called retreat, again, and we headed up the Pelennor with a hoard of Orcs, Southrons, Haradrim, and mumakil bearing down upon us. There were few of us left, but I heard a trumpet and saw that a sortie was pouring out of the Great Gate towards us.

When I looked back, though, I was frozen in place. The line of the Enemy was long and great; I have never seen such an army! They were putting torches to houses and barns along the way and that, coupled with the fiery blasts against the wall, flooded my mind with memory – memory of Mordor.

Do you remember the time, Boromir, when I was about ten and you decided it was time to see what this thing was, this mountain that caused our Mother to lose all hope? You told Father you were going to Osgiliath to visit Calimehtar. He let you go – you knew how to persuade him. I wouldn’t let you leave this time without me and you hid me from the Guard – we rode hard, not stopping at Osgiliath, but going directly towards the Crossroads. We camped under the stars that night and I was so happy to be with you; you had not taken me on an adventure such as this before. I felt I must be growing up for you to take me with you. I could hardly sleep for the excitement. I tried to tell you some of the Elven stories, but you would have none of it. The next morning we left the horses and started the long climb up Ephel Duath. I had no idea the dreaded mountain was so far from home. We couldn’t even see it from here, but why was Mother so afraid of something so far away?

I started to be afraid myself when we saw our first band of Orcs, shortly after dusk. I’d never seen them up close and this was too close. We hid among the rocks and I think you were sorry you had brought me along. I remember letting out a little cry or two and the terrible scowl on your face as you heard my noise. I was so frightened. They carried huge torches and swept the ground in front of them looking for something, I know not what. I could see your need to push on, your wish to complete the task you had set for yourself, but I could also see that you were struggling with what to do with me. I just sat there squished down as small as I could squish myself, hoping the Orcs would not turn towards us, would not find us.

Suddenly, you stood me up and turned me back onto our path. I knew you had decided that we must get out of there, but something must have given us away. The Orcs stopped, raised their heads, and looked in our direction. I thought I was going to die. You pushed me forward and yelled, ‘Run!’ and I did, as fast as I could, slipping and sliding down the path. Branches hit my face in my desperate slide, but I did not care. The Orcs were shouting and yelling. I could not understand them, but I knew they had seen us and were chasing us. You had that little sword Father had given you out and ready, but I could not see what you could do against one Orc, let alone so many.

We reached the Crossroads and the terrain was easier, but by now I could hardly breathe, the long slide down, the whip-like cuts on my hands and face, the sweat pouring down my back, all took its toll on me and I fell forward. I knew we were dead. There was no hope. But you yelled at me, told me to get up and that you had my back and not to worry. You would not let them harm me. I cried as I ran; I did not want to lose you. ‘Please hurry,’ I looked back and cried. I was afraid you were going to stop and fight them yourself.

As I faced forward again, I ran right into one. They had come up from the side. It started to grab my cloak and I screamed. Suddenly, it was falling to the ground with an arrow in its neck. I fell forward with it and knew no more.

Boromir, sorry, we have to stop now. The Warden is very upset about Faramir not resting and all, and doesn’t like talk of Orcs in his Houses of Healing. I’ll try to sneak back later and, hopefully, we can get this finished. I want to know what happened next.

Oh and Boromir – I miss you too!

Pippin for Faramir


Part II

Let’s see, where was I …ah, yes…

And Boromir – I miss you too! And I do. I’ve been trying to tell Faramir all about our adventures, but he doesn’t seem to understand much right now…head wound, you know. And he really wants me to get this letter written. Really – probably afraid that old Warden will come back before we’re finished. Oh by the way, I liked your brother’s story about the Orcs – you know, that’s the way it was for Merry and me. You didn’t see that part…we ran right into a band of them on Ammon Hen as we were looking for Frodo. Oh dear, Boromir, I don’t want to think of that now. I believe I’ll get on with Faramir’s letter. He has been very patient this morning! And I am getting hungry.

Brother,

I don’t know how Father knew where we were, but he had sent his Rangers after us. They made quick work of the Orcs. We would have perished if not for his aid.

And now I am told the same is true of our dash from Rammos Echor. The men were running, but together and fighting as they ran. It was no rout, Boromir; they fought well. And many fell as we pushed forward towards the Great Gate. The Enemy was all around us. I saw Imrahil in the distance; saw the look of horror on his face as he battled towards me. He is a great uncle, Boromir, and true friend! My heart was gladdened and despair fled until the smell of Nazgul suddenly assailed the air around me and the Black Breath turned these valiant warriors into gibbering shadows. They threw their weapons down and ran wildly over the Pelennor. I sought desperately to assuage their fears, but to no avail. That is when the first arrow struck and I fell. Mablung never left my side; he helped me up and we continued to hack our way forward. Damrod fell with an arrow straight through his heart; there was nothing I could do. A feeling of helplessness o’erwhelmed me. The mumakil were running in fear; the noise seemed too much for them. They crushed my men in their fright; we were surrounded. I could not count the arrows that shot towards the little band of men encompassed about me. As I fell, I saw Imrahil with his sword raised, yelling – screaming something at the Orcs, saw him getting closer, and then blackness engulfed me.

I awoke here in the Houses of Healing. Aragorn came to me in a dream, I think, put his hands on either side of my head and spoke words over me, words I could not understand. Then he gave me some warm liquid to drink. They say I was near death, but it is only two days since I was brought here and the Warden said I would leave this place soon. One of the healers, Ioreth, I think, said something about the hands of the King and healing. The woman has some sense! And she is quite taken with Aragorn.

Boromir – he is a great man. I could feel power through his hands. He has the look of Numenor on his face. How could such power be in a man? He brings with him something of the houses of the Westernesse. I am concerned, though, about Father’s acceptance of him, but he has my heart, Brother. He will be a great king and bring honor and peace back to Gondor.

I have pledged my fealty to Aragorn and, wonder of wonders, he has told me that already you have done this! Always, dear Brother, you are one step ahead of me. I would have heard more from him, but the drink he gave me, or perhaps the touch of his hand, caused sleep to o’ercome me.

Not since have I seen him. I am told he will soon be off to battle the Nameless One. He and Gandalf, Imrahil and the Ithilien Rangers, my rangers, and the Dunedain from the North - and your own men, too, Boromir. A great army and one that I am sorely distressed to be not part of. There is no hope that Aragorn will let me join the battle. Besides, Father will need me here to cover their flank, whether he will it or no, and I must content myself with that – though he will approve not of whatever I do. I can sense the grimace on your face, Brother, but you know I speak the truth. Ever have I tried to do my part for Gondor. Ever have I put aside my own thoughts and wishes. Father will not listen and turns a deaf ear to all my words. Would that you were here. I can speak with him on my own. I will speak with him on my own. But I regret the loss of your presence. Nay, more than that, I rue the loss of your presence. I cannot fathom living without you, Brother. There is nothing, no one to fill this gap in my heart.

As I lie here, I recall the times when I was sick in my youth and you were at my side…I remember the last time I was ill, always the fear of the plague returning to our land, you were terrified that I had contracted it – yet it was just a little thing. The fear I saw in your eyes as you wiped my brow – I would you were with me now. Is it weakness to want to feel the touch of your hand on my brow, dear Brother? Unbearable is this pain, this longing. I have scared Pippin – I will press on. I know my duty. I will bear this ache.

And still no word from Father. I had hoped to see him this day. Aragorn will move our warriors forward on the morrow, on the road to Mordor. Perhaps Father is still sequestered with him.

Pippin, once again, seems distraught as I mention our Father’s name. I think we will put this letter aside for the moment. He and I must speak. I feel a strange foreboding springing from him.

I cannot tell you how much I miss you,

Pippin for Faramir