12. False Fire
Prompt: Armenlos: Write a story or create a piece of art centered on freedom of religion (or lack thereof), heresy, and/or religious rites.
Finally, Pelennor was over – the prisoners attended, all else rested with the healers. Men lay like stones that night.
So 'twas morning ere the rumors started: that the Steward had killed himself – that he'd done it by fire. "Like them," some added, forgetting that "they" wore the Silver Swan, too.
Esteven bit his tongue. Gondorians made Haradrim one mass, and misunderstood even that: The Khan's Children know fire is not for usurping God!
But for a-lehani, men were too weak to be living flame.
So, faithful a-lehani, he prays: A, mhur bhavekahena, remember his dignity, not his death.
Author's notes: 1. I'm borrowing Esteven from Isabeau; Esteven is the second ever Southron to win a white belt and serve as a Swan Knight, after her OC Andrahar.
2. Gandalf tells Denethor, in a vain attempt to talk him down from suicide by immolation: "Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death. […] And only the heathen kings, under the dominion of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death." So I thought it would be interesting to have a comment from one of the "heathens" on his own behalf and on behalf of his not-quite-coreligionists. Love in other languages also looks at this practice by way of giving Esteven's perspective some background.
3. A, mhur bhavekahena: "O, from god to god", i.e., 'my god, please talk to the gods of Denethor for me, since I can't speak directly to them.' Tolkien didn't leave us any Haradric, so I've been making stuff up ever since I started writing Haradrim.
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.