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Many Ways Lead to Henneth Annn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Preface: A "drabble" is a short piece of prose of exactly 100 words. A double drabble (exactly 200 words) is a "drouble". A "tribble" has 300 words. A "quabble" has 400 and a "quibble" 500. More than that and you've got yourself a "ficlet".

Drabbles and any variations thereof that are posted here were counted with MS Word.



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"Many ways lead to Henneth Annn"

You may reach it travelling from Minas Tirith, eager to take up the fight. When you set out, you are strong: your gear is in good shape, your boots are sturdy, your spirits high. Nineteen miles to Osgiliath, then forty-five miles on the banks of the Anduin, walking between the rushing river and the whispering woods of Ithilien. When the fortress of Cair Andros sends its stony promise of safety across the rapids, you turn north-east.

Another eighteen miles and you reach the hidden bastion of battle against the Black Land.

You give your password.
You are ready to fight.

oooOooo

You may reach it after weeks spent in South Ithilien, once called Moon-land and now overrun by Orcs and slit-eyed Southrons, who care naught for borderlines or treaties of old. Your throat is parched from the heat and your eyes burn from squinting over the glare of sunlight reflected by the dark flow of the river Poros, where you have tried to watch over Gondor's southernmost border. Your boots are dusty. The leather is thin from ranging over two hundred miles from the Haudh-in-Gwanr to the hidden refuge of Henneth Annn.

You give your password.
And all you want is sleep.

oooOooo

You may reach it after a patrol of the beacon hills:
After you beheld the holy height of Halifirien and walked the green glade of Calenhad. After you climbed the pillar of Minrimmon and held vigil on Erelas. After you stacked up the wood on Nardol and braved the spire of Eilenach. And after you endured the watchful silence of Amon Dn.

You approach the refuge and your heart is heavy. Only when the hour is dark and the need dire, the beacons will burn. That day is not far now.

You speak the password and wearily enter Henneth Annn.

oooOooo

You may reach it in the depth of night, returning from a secret mission.

On such a mission, you may have seen the decaying shadows of ancient valour in the Dead Marshes. You may have hidden in the shade of the slag-mounds within sight of the Morannon. You may have wandered the Noman-lands trying to hide from your own shadow. You may have crept towards Ithilien grateful even for the sheltering gloom of the Ephel Duath.

When you arrive, you whisper the password and look around with furtive glances, until you collapse gratefully in the soothing shadows of the waterfall.

oooOooo

Many ways lead to Henneth Annn.

The way from the West is the way from Minas Tirith, a safe road paved with confidence. The way from the South is long and hot, meandering mazily through the Moon-lands of South Ithilien. The way from the North-West is farther still, covering all the miles of the Great West Road between the Irensaga and the Anduin. Dark is the way reaching Henneth Annn from the North-East, a way you will not speak of at night.

Yet all these ways lead to Henneth Annn.
You give the password, enter, and you are at home.

oooOooo

Many ways lead to Henneth Annn.

And many days you have spent travelling these ways, in shadows and light. But then comes the day without dawn, when all missions of reconnaissance and preparation are put to the test. Twelve miles, until the trail meets the Harad Road. Twelve miles, until you meet with the Host of the West. Seventy-eight miles of marching on the Harad Road in the deepening gloom of the Ephel Duath.

Then the gates of the Morannon open for you and you know that this time there will be no way back to Henneth Annn for you.

oooOooo



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