By Whose Right
1. Chapter 1
Tzimarias was out riding, when he saw the figure on foot approaching him. He watched as the guards in halted him, and spoke, before moving aside to let him approach. As he came neared Tzimarias saw that it was Iustius. He signalled to one of the guards to dismount and give his horse to Iustius. Once this had happened he waited for the guards to ride back out of hearing distance, before greeting his old friend,
“Iustius. What brings you back here? The last I heard you were sailing west again in search of more targets to fight.” He spoke deliberately lightly to encourage his friend to do the same.
“True, but that was almost a year ago and so much has happened in that time.” He waved one arm to encompass the surrounding, “Allow me to present my and my fathers sincerest condolences on the deaths of you father and brothers and congratulation on becoming king.” He glanced at Tzimarias to see what his reaction would be, and saw his face grow graver, until then he had seemed the same carefree young man he had known for many years. Tzimarias acknowledged his words without speaking and then said,
“But you said there was more new? You’ve been busy no doubt, Iusti.” He deliberately used his old nickname, knowing that he had to try to ensure that his old friend was certain that they were still to be friends.
“Sailing too and fro, pirating, gathering information. How much have you heard from Gondor since their victory?”
“There have been many rumours, but not much certain news. Their messengers have been here, but I sent them on to our overlord. They have not yet returned.”
“The Emperor is still dieing, is he not?”
“Yes, and so very unlikely to leave Far Harad.”
“And far away from the latest news of what is happening here. Whilst trading in Gondor, I was approached by representatives of some of their nobles. It was very indirectly put, but they are unhappy at the crowning of the new king, or especially the new Queen. She is Elvish, it is said.”
“And they are angry at the snub to their daughters, among other things.”
“There were always discontented elements, but this time it seems to be a much larger group and they were asking for help…”
“And what will they give in return?”
“They were talking to me as a merchant, or pirate, though they were too diplomatic to say that, and so offered treasure.”
“So they would give us a tribute. That would be a worthwhile prize.” Tzimarias feel silent, thinking of how this could play out.
“When the Emperor dies do you intend to march south for power, Tzi?”
“No. I have no desire to sit on the imperial throne. If this scheme works out, the death of the Emperor could be a good time to act and declare our independence.”
“You think my father would join you?”
“For an offer of lower tribute and marriage ties.”
Iustius nodded, “But for this to succeed we would have to help this rebels gain what they want, which will require action on our parts – I doubt they will act without much aid. I am not sure how easy it would be, their army defeated us before.”
“Yet this time it would be a civil war within Gondor. If we march to the rebels’ aid, you take your ships and burn their ports, and I will send messengers north to Khand. Although rumour have come south about unrest there, they will fight with us against Gondor.”
“They certainly should. After all their Emperor is tied to you by marriage.”
They had arrived back at the palace whilst talking and so dismounted, leaving the horses to be tended by squires and entered the building. Inside it was cool, even in the heat of the day, for it was the height of summer. Tzimarias led the way to one of the courtyard gardens, where fountains cooled the air. Food had been lain out on a table there, with a slave watching it, but Tzimarias dismissed him, together with the others how were clamouring for his attention.
“You are still unmarried?”
“Yes, as are my brothers. Father has been trying to negotiate with some of the Kings of Far Harad for brides, but is returned snubs. They look down on us still. Some no doubt, he’ll allow us to try stealing brides, as he did. Gondor does not guard its women closely, even now.”
Tzimarias smiled as a thought hit him, “and through his action you are probably closer in blood to him who sits on the throne of Gondor, that he who sits on the Imperial throne.”
“As you are to the throne of Khand. Although, I remember many of the nobles of the Imperial court being unhappy at that marriage.”
“Yet it could well have been a very clever move on the part of my father. Maybe Khand would join us in our northern kingdom.”
“I doubt that, they are fiercely independent and boast of never paying homage to anyone.”
“If it were worded correctly, they might. But enough of such serious matters, we will return to them later, but for now let us speak of lighter matters.”
And so they went on to reminisce about the years when they had been training and studying together.
Later, their conversation did return to politics with the result that when Iustius sailed west, it was to contact the dissatisfied nobles and to see what assistance they wanted and what they would be prepared to give in return.
A/N: I know this is a very short chapter, but I'm trying not to put too much information in it. I would really appriciate comments about how it works.
This story is supposed to be consistant with my other story 'Changing Perceptions', which is set at about the same time. This chapter happens at about the same time as chapters 10-11 of it - however this story should stand alone.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.