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A Deck of Heroes
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10 - Justice

For FrodoBaggins252 for her birthday.



“You know the law that I have made, Faramir--that no stranger to Gondor is to walk freely through Ithilien.”

“Yes, Father, and usually I would agree with you.”

“But these two and the gangrel creature you describe as their guide--you held them not, and did not bring them here to Minas Tirith for my judgment.”

“You know that I did not, Father. I would not have that--thing--anywhere near anyone I love. I could see in the Halfling’s eyes how very much it cost him merely to bear it.”

“But he does not know the way! And what way does the other creature know that leads off of the road to the cursed city of the Nazgűl, and how does he know of it?”

“There is but one way I have been advised of, Father--the Pass of Cirith Ungol. I know that it is a way of dread; but then all ways that lead into the Nameless One’s lands are ways of dread, are they not? As for how he knows of it--that I cannot say. We had no time together to share all that each of us knows--or guesses.”

“I will remind you that were you a lesser man of Gondor your life should be forfeit for what you have done.”

“Then suffer that justice to fall on me, if my judgment should prove ill. But each of us must judge as we might, and I will not regret my decision even if I must kneel to the sword of the headsman. And Peregrin’s kinsman--were he a Man rather than a Pherian I would say of him he is one whose own judgment is keen. I saw it in his eyes--he knows that he will not return from this quest. He will either die upon the way, or within the Sammath Naur itself.”

“And what is it that you mean to say to me with this?”

Faramir sighed and rolled his shoulders, his eyes weary and sad. “Only this--by sending him onward I have merely assured that in the end he will suffer the death that is to be the fate of strangers within Ithilien.” He raised his chin defiantly. “Perhaps I have not administered your justice directly, but I have set it in motion, I fear, as surely as if I held the headsman’s sword myself.”


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