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The Fallen
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The Wedding

Some of her father´s friends called her a coward. Some refused to believe that it had been her decision, and many cursed Pharazôn and spread dark stories of conspiracy and rape. And yet, faced with her own words and her own pledge, there was nothing that they could do.

He took the sceptre with a calm, arrogant smile, as if it had belonged to him all along. After many dark nights of despair, she felt hope dawning anew, and convinced herself that everything was at last as it should be.

"The Powers, whose love Tar-Palantír sought for all his life, forsook him and finally abandoned him to a fate of darkness. I will now return to the ways of our fathers, and the might and splendour of Númenor will be subservient to none." It had been his first speech, filling her heart with a new ardour. The land would thrive again, free from the lingering shadow of strife and forgotten ceremonials full of raspy and metallic dead words. Free from the shadow of Tar-Palantír.

Sometimes, she still had dreams where her hands were red with the blood of his father. When she awoke, she blamed the Valar.

Coward. Traitor. Victim. Prisoner. The day of their wedding, as she appeared in front of them in a magnificent attire of silks, rubies and silver thread, she could read the different words in the eyes that were fixed on hers, as if, for the space of a fleeting moment, the dead King´s haunting gift had pierced the walls of her human understanding.

Shivering, she sought his hand, and its heat comforted her until she was able to curve her lips into a smile. She had never felt so highly prized, and of such little worth.


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