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A Deck of Heroes
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5 - The Emperor

The Emperor

I must laugh when I think of the name bestowed upon my most prized counselor. Did they name him Samwise because as a babe he stared about him at the world with wide, round eyes, that stare so often associated with those whose minds are weak? Or did his mother merely like the sound of the name on her tongue, having no regard for the meaning of it? Whatever the reason, the name stands in stark contrast to his sagacity. Indeed, he too could have been best named Iorhael or Frodo, as he has ever learned swiftly through experience. No fool he, our beloved Mayor of the Shire.

I was raised to rule, and tutored in skills of negotiation, compromise, evaluation of martial readiness, command, offense and defense, tongues, histories, administration, legal matters, determining justice, and the handling of treasuries from my earliest childhood. He was raised and trained to be a gardener. Yet today this one-time tenant in a hole not his own is Master of the Hill and the owner of Bag End, patriarch to a village-worth of family, Mayor of the Shire, familiar and adviser to lords and kings, and a Lord in his own right in the eyes of all within Middle Earth.

I tell you truly--it is before Samwise Gamgee that all should bow as I do--I who am considered the High King of the West. Our beloved Frodo--he chose his successor well.


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