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The Last Word
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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Faramir stood outside the closed door to Boromir’s chambers and lifted his hand to knock, forgetting for a brief moment that there was no need. There would be no answer, now or evermore.

The young Steward’s eyes glittered with unshed tears, and his courage almost died in the face of his grief, but he so desperately needed some contact with his brother, even if only in spirit, that he forced himself to take a deep taking a calming breath before he dropped his hand to grip the door knob, turned it and stepped silently into the chamber.

There was no one inside to grumble feigned annoyance at being disturbed or to playfully throw a pillow at the intruder. There was no one with a ready smile and strong arms who was ever willing to draw his younger brother into an affectionate embrace. Nor was there anyone to tease his younger sibling with false claims that of the two, the ladies of Gondor naturally much preferred to seek the favours of his handsome and courageous elder.

Whilst he was still in the House of Healing, Aragorn had sent word that all that remained of Boromir’s possessions had been brought here, and it took Faramir but a glance to find the weather worn travel pack resting on the end of the bed.

The once Captain of Ithilien’s Rangers understood full well the need to travel as unencumbered as possible, so too had Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli during their pursuit of the foul creatures who had taken Merry and Pippin. Faramir was proud that his brother had gained the respect of the three hunters and was more than grateful that at least a few of his brother’s possessions had found their way home.

With a tender reverence he removed the wooden comb had been a favourite necessity in Boromir’s eyes, and a source of jesting from his less well kempt younger brother. There was also the clasp that had belonged to their mother and that Boromir carried with him always, and a scroll that revealed a crude drawing of what Faramir could only guess was Rivendell. The last item was a cloth covered package, that once unwrapped revealed the gift the scholarly ranger had given to his brother to take on his long journey in search of the legendary Lore Master and hopefully answers to the riddle of their dreams.

Faramir had been disappointed but not really surprised when Denethor had refused him permission to make the trip to Rivendell. Boromir was well aware of his brother’s insatiable thirst for knowledge and curiosity about the Elves and, although he was a warrior not a scribe, he had nonetheless offered to keep a record of all he saw had heard whilst in Rivendell. Without even opening the cover, Faramir knew he had done so, for he had never refused his beloved younger brother anything.

Faramir inhaled the faint scent of Boromir that still lingered embedded in the leather cover and then, closing his eyes, he lifted the journal that bore the symbol of the tree and stars on the front to his lips and kissed it softly.

Sorrow and grief overwhelmed Faramir and he allowed his tears to fall freely until he could cry no more. Feeling drained, yet keeping the journal close to his heart, he moved to the cabinet that was used to store several skins of his brother’s favourite wines, and selecting one, he settled himself in the armchair by the window and turned to the first page and began to read.

“Little brother,

As promised, I am writing in the journal you gave me. Had you your wits about you when you were helping me prepare to leave instead of bemoaning the unfairness of Father’s decision, you might have remembered to pack quill and ink as well as the book, and I would have been able to begin making this record sooner, although as I think on it further, it would not have been wise to become distracted whilst travelling alone.

My words may not be as eloquent as a scholar’s, nor my descriptions as poetic as yours undoubtedly would be, but I will do my best…

I have finally arrived in Rivendell after 110 lonely, miserable and arduous days of travel. Never again will I speak ill of your forests, for compared with some of the paths I was forced to take, they are mere gardens, well suited for an evening stroll.

The elements conspired against me for most of the journey as well and I arrived in the grey light of dawn with my clothes ragged, covered in mud, and looking more like one of your rangers than the refined son of the Steward that I claim to be. Fortunately only a few Elves were about, and it was Master Elrond himself who greeted me and showed me to my chambers.

I can not begin to describe the bliss of sinking into the warm water of a proper bath, or the taste of my first decent meal since leaving Minas Tirith. You will likely find this amusing, since you so often tease me about my grooming, but I managed to lose most of my belongings on the way here and I fear that the sight of the bedraggled clothes that I must still wear will be a source of shame.

Ah well, it could not be helped and ‘tis a mercy that Father is not here to see it!

I know you will not read this advice until I return, but I miss our conversations and feel as if I am speaking with you as I write.

I regards to Father, dear Faramir, ignore his disparaging remarks if you can, and remember that I have every confidence that you will perform the role of leader of our army with the honour, valour and skill in battle that I know you possess. Even if he refuses to admit it, I can attest to the fact that there have been many times when your insights and strategies, not to mention the skill of your archers, have swayed a skirmish in our favour. Never doubt that my soldiers love and respect you as much as your rangers do, as much as I do and, even though you do not believe this, as much as our father does somewhere deep in his heart.

I know you are wondering what Rivendell is like, and from the little I have seen so far, it is indeed as beautiful as Mithrandir says. As I travelled closer to the valley where it is hidden, a definite sense of peace and tranquillity settled over me, and for the first time in my adult life I feel safe. There are no dark creatures lurking in the shadows, no dank and poisonous fumes to breathe, and no orcs or wild men waiting in ambush. I know what you are thinking, but have no fear, I am no fool to be lulled into complacency. I have no wish to feel cold steel slicing my flesh and even now my sword is ever ready to be drawn.

When I have time I will explore as much as possible but for now I must take my leave for I have been granted an audience with Master Elrond, which is of course the reason for my journey. I hope he can provide me with the answers to the riddles posed by the dreams that have been haunting your sleep and the one I shared recently.

Gondor needs aid, no matter what form it takes…and I vow I will do what I must to see that our hope does not fade and that we are not defeated. While I still draw breath, I will not let the White City fall to the Dark Lord…

Faramir closed the book, the haze of tear filled eyes making reading any more at the moment impossible. There were many more pages filled with Boromir’s handwriting, but they could wait for another day.

“I miss you so much, Boromir. I love you, my brother, but wherever you are, know that you did not die in vain,” he whispered sadly to the shadows.


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