The Captain's Daughter: a Prequel
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
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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
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,
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.”