Lind's Story

The Captain's Daughter: a Prequel

July, 3018
Minas Tirith

Captain Malech of the Second Company was sitting alone at a darkened table in the back of the Grey Goose, a tavern frequented by members of the Guard of the Citadel when off duty.

The place was near capacity this evening and boisterous. There had been a contest today between his own men and those of the First Company, headed by Captain Boromir, the steward’s son. There had been competitions in several events; wrestling, sword and shield, sword and dagger, knife axe and spear throwing, and archery. Malech’s men had done well, placing first in wrestling and knife axe and spear, but the First Company had narrowly defeated them overall when the final points were tallied.

He was proud of his men. They had done even better than he had expected, but Captain Boromir had, over the years, collected as fine a troop of men as had ever served in the Guard. When the steward’s son spotted someone with abilities he admired or needed, he would convince that man to transfer to his company. All of the captains did this when they could, but Boromir’s company was prime duty and the most prestigious of the units so he was, by far, the most successful.

This evening, Malech was deep in though, concerned with private matters rather than professional. He looked up from his tankard briefly when a loud cheer went up and saw that Boromir had entered the tavern. He watched as the dashing captain quieted his men, giving back-thumping embraces to his lieutenants, and a quick kiss to the barmaid. It was several minutes before Malech was again brought out of his thoughts when someone stood next to his table.

“No need to look so down in the mouth, Malech. Your men did you proud.” Boromir then took the seat across from Malech before he had a chance even to stand, acknowledging the younger man’s higher rank. He began to rise, nonetheless, but The tall blond man raised his right hand to stop him while he lifted his tankard to drink with the left.
“No need to do that here, my friend,” he said, wiping the foam from his mustache with his sleeve. “Tonight we are but comrades-in-arms sharing a mug of The Goose’s finest. He held up two fingers and looked to see that the barmaid had seen his signal.

“You know, you cost me some good money, today, Malech. I was sure that Dorlas could beat Anmor in that wrestling match and wagered on him against my brother. Faramir’s purse is more the heaver than my own this night. To make amends, he has taken the duty of Captain of the Watch for me tonight so that I might drown my sorrows.” He paused and took a deep draught, draining his tankard. “You wouldn’t want to transfer Anmor to my company now, would you? he said with a sly grin and a wink.
“I’d rather not,” Malech replied with a wry smile of his own. “He’s one of my best men, when it suits him, at least. But I’m sure that if you really want him, you will find a way to have him.” Not that he would want him now, the older man thought smugly. By implying that Anmor was less than the ideal soldier, he had virtually guaranteed that Boromir would pursue him no longer..

Indeed, the younger man had already dismissed the thought from his mind, intent now on the serving maid who brought two fresh tankards of ale and set them on the table with a shy but saucy smile. Boromir gave the girl two silver coins, considerably more than the drinks were worth, and playfully pinched her on the bottom as she began to walk away. The girl jumped and giggled and Boromir grinned as he watched her walk away, then he turned once again to his companion.

“Thank you, my lord,” Malech said as he accepted the tankard that was pushed toward him.

“You’ve got some good lads among your recruits,” Boromir said. I was watching some of them as they practiced on the field the other day. Who was that boy that was sparring with Mat? Perhaps I should ask him if he’d like to transfer?” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

Malech knew that he was teasing. Boromir was not so selfish or unwise to take all of the best men for himself. The Guard of the Citadel had many companies and all were expected to be the best that they could be.

Malech chuckled. “ I know who you mean, sir, and truth be told, that one would love nothing more than to serve with you, but it’s impossible.”

Boromir sat up straight, set his tankard on the table without drinking, and looked at Malech with narrowed eyes. He was a man who was used to getting what he wanted, and the idea that there was something he could not have if he chose to have it, was hard for him to accept. “And why not, Malech?”

“Because, my lord, that ‘lad’ you saw was my daughter, Lindorië, and I have not heard that Gondor’s state is such as yet that we will be recruiting women to fight our battles!”

“Sweet Elbereth! That was Lindorië? I haven’t seen her in at least a year, I think. I figured that you had sent her away to some relative or something.” He shook his head in disbelief. “I don’t know how you’ve managed to raise that lass on your own, Malech. The barracks is no place for a girl to grow up.”

The older man nodded his head and suddenly looked much older than Boromir, though five years only separated their ages. “Aye, my lord, I know, but she’s all that I have. I was too selfish to send her off, even when I had a place to send her to. In truth, I don’t think that she would go even if I had a place for her to go. She’s a bit....headstrong,” he said with a smile.

There was a commotion again near the door and both men looked up to see what was going on. “Ah, there she is now,” Malech said. He raised his hand and waved at the girl that had just entered. She wore an unadorned linen dress of blue and her dark brown hair was loosely held at the nape of her neck with a matching ribbon. She made her way across the tavern, ignoring the catcalls, pausing only long enough to slap the hand of one man that had gotten a little too familiar as she had walked by.

“Papa, are you coming soon?” she asked, then noticed who her father’s drinking companion was when both men stood as she reached the table. “Captain Boromir!” she said and curtsied and stammered slightly. “I’m, ...I’m sorry, I didn’t see you in the shadow.”
“Your father and I were just talking about you, lass,” Boromir said, bowing and placing a kiss on the back of her hand. He enjoyed watching her blush from her neck to the top of her head.

“Lord Boromir saw you sparring with Mat yesterday. He was ready to lure ‘the lad’ to his own company.

Lindorië smiled shyly and blushed anew, looking downward to hide the color in her face. She was suddenly aware that the steward’s son was seeing more now that her swordsmanship.

Boromir sighed. Still a bit too young for his liking, but she had promise. A couple of years more and she would blossom into full womanhood. He preferred his women a bit more rounded.

“Papa, I cleaned your armor and mended the chin strap on your helm. You are off duty tonight, are you coming home for supper?”

“Not for supper, lass. I’m not hungry. I will be home, though--in a little while.” He took some coins from the pouch on his belt and gave them to her. “Get something for your own supper and have Gelloin walk you home.”

“I’m capable of getting myself home, Papa. I don’t need Gelloin’s help.” She said indignantly.

Malech sighed. “I know, lass, I know.” This was a conversation they had before. “But it’s not fitting for a girl your age to be walking alone so close to dark. Be a good girl and humor me this once.”

She gave her father a look that told Boromir that this would be discussed again later, away from the eyes of the tavern’s patrons. She would yield, but not gladly.

“Yes, Papa.” She kissed her father’s cheek. “I will see you at home. Don’t be too long.” She then curtsied to Boromir. “Good evening, my lord.”

Boromir stood. “Good evening, Lady Lindorië. It was a pleasure to see you, again.”

She left hurriedly and the men sat once again.

“She’s a lovely girl, Malech. She shouldn’t be wasting her time playing at soldiering.”

“I know, sir, but I don’t know what to do about it. The lass helped me keep sane after her mother was killed and I did not have the heart or desire to send her to family at the time. Now there’s no one left to send her to and I doubt that she would go if there was. The girl’s got a mind of her own, she does. Her mother did, as well, though she wasn’t quite so stubborn. It comes from her family in the north, I guess. My wife’s father was from the far north up in Arthedain. Was Dunedain, or so he said. Full of tales and stories that he filled his daughter’s head with. Lindorië heard some of them, but I don’t know how much she remembers.

Boromir nodded. “There were some men, supposedly Dunedain from the north that came to fight the Haradrim with my grandfather, long ago. I was just a tot myself, but I remember one of them, a Captain called Thorongil. My grandfather thought highly of him, or so I have heard. I have little recollection of him except that my father and grandfather once had a great argument about him. The two of them hardly spoke again before my grandfather died.” He paused and took a drink.

“Enough wool-gathering, though. What were you so deep in thought over when I joined you, my friend? You seemed to be deep in worries.”

Malech laughed wryly. “Ah, sir, we have already talked about my worries—Lindorië and what to do with her.

“I fear that the situation with Sauron will worsen ere long and I fear for her safety,” he continued. “The neighbors have watched out for her when I have been gone for short duties away in the past, but if the city ever is evacuated, I don’t know that I will have them to count on, and as you could tell from her temperment, I don’t think she’d go with them if they’d take her.

Boromir considered what his friend had said for a minute or two and then spoke. “What if I could find a position for her, Malech, as a lady’s maid or some sort of thing as that. Do you think that she’d go for that sort of reason?”

Malech looked doubtful. “I don’t know, sir, possibly. She needs some sort of position. Even if I should survive whatever Sauron sends, she needs someone to take care of her. Gelloin is fond of her, but I don’t think that she is happy with the match and doesn’t think she needs anyone to care for her.”

Boromir chuckled. “I leave in two days on a journey north. My father would have answers to questions about a dream my brother keeps having and I myself have now had. He seems to think that the elves in Imladris will know what it is about. Tonight I will write a letter to my uncle, the Prince of Dol Amroth. He has a daughter nearly the same age. Perhaps he could find a position in his household for her. When I return, we will see what he has to say. Imrahil has several sons, as well. One never knows what fate may have in store for your daughter, Malech.”

Both men laughed and Boromir rose to leave. “I’d best not keep you any longer. I wouldn’t want to risk facing the lass angry with a sword in her hand. We’ll talk when I return, my friend.” The two of them shook hands, Malech looking greatly relieved.

“Thank you, sir. I’m grateful for your help. Off to see the elves, eh?” He shook his head. “They’ve not bothered with us for years, I don’t know why we need them now. Safe journey anyway, my lord. I will be eager for your return.”