4. Seven (Mile) Stones
For Raksha on her birthday, some of Faramir's.
Perhaps Denethor's father was dying slowly, perhaps Gondor's future looked bleak, but this, at least, was a day for joy as unalloyed as his soul allowed, for today his second son was born healthy. Finduilas, though exhausted, smiled at him, and the Captain General knew the Valar had blessed him. At least on this day.
"Prince Adrahil, my greetings." Fari said, trying hard to look a Man of Gondor. He even saluted correctly, and did a brief obeisance before breaking discipline and running into his grandfather's arms. "I missed you, Grandsire! Are we going sailing today?"
Even the Steward managed a smile. Duty well done begets pleasure... such were the aphorisms taught to all young lords of Gondor. Although this promise had proven false for himself, at least it might still prove true for his sons.
Boromir had outdone himself. Both sons of Denethor was on leave, and the elder had used his to arrange the younger the worthiest of parties. Fari looked about the hall at the incredible ... scenery about him. Though most in truth had eyes for Bori or Elphir, as the honored guest, he could dance with any he chose, and as the night went on and the wine flowed, he regretted that dancing was all the customs of his land would allow a young unmarried nobleman.
Today, as most days in North-east Ithilien, had been filled with the strange combination of adrenaline and boredom that was patrol in a contested land. A few of his company's scouts had seen Orc-tracks, but no live enemies had crossed any of the Rangers' paths. A good thing. He remembered that it was his birthday as he drifted off to sleep, but was too tired to think much of it.
Today was marked as much by those absent as those present. Eowyn was two years in the grave, and Eomer could no longer make the journey from Edoras to Emyn Arnen. But as he thought on these distressing matters, the voices of his father, brother, and grandfather all spoke their various versions of "Quit your elf-maidenish lamenting, Fari!"
His King seemed to read these latter thoughts, and chuckled. "Let us take what pleasures we still can, in honor of those who can not, old man!" the 152-year-old King whispered with a silght grin. "I think I shall watch tomorrow's sunset from Henneth Annun. Would you care to join me?"
The Steward nodded, and, seeing Barahir eyeing him from a corner table, decided it was time for a game of chess.
One hundred Ten
Establishing in Ithilien the tradition long followed in Dol Amroth, the still-strong father passed the Princedom to his son. Elboron had been ready for years, and Faramir was glad to gift him with the rank. The office of Steward, Faramir still kept, and he looked forward to once more calling Minas Tirith home.
One hundred Twenty
The second son of Denethor, now white-haired and propped on a staff, made his slow, sure way to the Great Hall of the Tower of Ecthelion. He had thought himself prepared to greet an array of distinguished guests come to congratulate him on reaching six score years; at the end of a long life, little surprised him.
But the difference between "little" and naught" was everything, for alongside the royal family and Arwen's brothers stood Celeborn, Glorfindel and Erestor.
"Congratulations on your birthday, Lord Faramir!" the silver one said with the slighest of bows. "Eldarion will be a half-yen by our counting next week. You know the signficance of that. But Aragorn told us you would be reaching ten twelve-years today." Celeborn smiled. "A number worth celebrating!"
So, Faramir was treated to various first-hand accounts of historical events spanning over sixty times as many years as he had lived, from some of the key participants. The Valar had blessed him, the Steward knew, on this day and many others.
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.