Fire On The Mountain
2. Author notes
- The beacons are never to be left unguarded, not even for a short span of time. Hence two soldiers per beacon. One can sleep or do things, while the second is looking at the other mountaintops. Assigning more than two soldiers would be a waste of manpower, which Gondor can ill-afford, in my opinion.
- The beacons are of important military value (at least, of old, they were), which is why guarding them is in the hands of the army. A rotating system seems to be fairest and most practical. Every soldier will hold out for a month, but perhaps not longer (weather, loneliness, boredom).
- To have at least some interaction with another person, the two guards eat their meals together on the top, beside the beacon. It makes sense for the one on watch to cook, since he's already awake and on-site anyway, giving the other more time for rest etc.
- Everything has to be carried up to the top. Which is why:
- Guard houses are not build on top of the mountains but a little down the slopes where there is more coverage and some trees might provide building materials. A lean-to or something might be possible, but I did not mention such in my story.
- The guards spend a lot of their "off-duty time" in gathering wood for the beacons, which need constant maintenance due to weather influences.
- Cooking fires are kept small and are extinguished once the meal is finished. This is also a security measure: at night light would travel far, and though the cooking fires are small, one would not want the wardens on the next mountain mistake them for the beacon being lit.
- Speed is of the essence, so a lamp is always kept ready to kindle the beacon.
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.