3. The Ruined Citadel
and feel at peace with myself for the first time since
I discovered what they carry.
My father will be furious, perhaps even angry
enough to invoke the exteme penalty, but I know I have
done the right thing. Even if my worst fears prove
true and the Ring comes again into the hands of its
master I will still have made the right choice.
If Gondor were falling into ruin and only I could
save her by wielding the One Ring I would not do it.
Better far to die clean than live to become that which
we hate and have fought all these long years. There
are some perils a Man can only flee.
I turn at last to make my slow way back through the
tunnels to my Men. Ah, Boromir! my brother must have
fooled himself into believing he'd mastered the Ring's
power - as I did - whilst all the time it was slowly
mastering him. Undermining his strength and twisting
him to its will. Sam spoke true, the Ring drove my
brother to madness. He never would have done such a
thing in his right mind.
And yet - somehow he freed himself of its hold
before the end and died clean of taint. The look of
peace on his face as he lay lapped in light tells me
as much. No doubt that is why the vision of his
passing was vouchsafed to me - that I might know this
for my comfort. May the Valar recieve his spirit!
Frodo fears for his companions and kin, and rightly
for they must have been in mortal danger for Boromir
to blow the Horn of Gondor. Yet it was not Orcs who
arrayed him for burial, some of the Company yet live I
deem. And if Aragorn son of Arathorn is among them
what will he do now, where will he go?
Boromir wanted to bring him to Minas Tirith - was
he wrong also in this? Just yesterday I would have
said yes, now I wonder. The Kings of Old had great
power. Was it not Isildur who vanquished Sauron at the
end of the Second Age? even if his fault meant that
defeat was not final. Yet who am I to censure him
having come so close to committing the same folly? I
have now a grim respect for the power of the Ring, and
naught but sympathy for any Man caught in its toils.
Gondor fails as does the rule of the Stewards. My
brother, proud and independent as he was, looked to
Isildur's Heir to save us. But can he? The risk is
very great - this is not the time for another
Kin-Strife! Yet is not sending the One Ring into
Mordor in the hands of a frail Halfling an even
The time for cautious half measures has passed. In
these dark and desperate days we must wager all on the
long chance. That was ever Boromir's way not mine, how
many times have I chided him for recklessness and been
laughed at for my pains? Yet it could be his rashness
will prove wiser in the end than my much vaunted
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