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A Deck of Heroes
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9 - The Chariot

For Baranduin for her birthday, and for Emily for her interest.


The Chariot

He looks down, not dispassionately as many believe, but with the patience he has learned in over two Ages of the Sun, sailing the Seas of Night. The time is not yet to seek landfall upon the shores of Middle Earth, although that day will come at the end. Therefore there is nothing that he can do to aid those he would so favor save to be what he has become--to shine out the brighter against the darkness that seeks to overwhelm those who labor to protect the world as the Light of Hope itself.

And this night he shines down upon several. The latest of the heirs of his departed son stands outside his tent, peering upward in search of heartening; it is likely that tomorrow his forces will face an attempt at an ambush, and he prays he has anticipated and planned wisely. His remaining son and that oneís daughter stand together upon a balcony in their hidden valley, also praying that their preparations for defense are enough. In Gondor the young Man who is now Steward stands upon the walls, peering eastward and upward, praying for those who seek to draw the Eye northward, away from the true danger that threatens the Lord of Mordor. And huddled together among the stones and dust of that land two tiny figures rest, one peering upwards in hope through the rent in Sauronís veils, the other near blinded by the encroaching darkness whose center lies over his heart.

He cannot bring his ship and his sword to the aid of any of these, but he will hearten each as he can....


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