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4
Day 29: Mordor, Dark Hour

From amid the darkness, light


"Arvedui was indeed the last king, as his name signifies. It is said that his
name was given to him at his birth by Malbeth the Seer, who said to his father:
"Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain. Though a
choice will come to the Dunedain, and if they take the one that seems less
hopeful, then your son will change his name and become king of a great realm. If
not, then much sorrow and many lives of men shall pass, until the Dunedain arise
and are united again.""(Appendix A, The Lord of the Rings)

***
After Malbeth left, Araphant sat for long hours gazing at the flickering embers,
seeing destruction and doom-- the land ravaged, his people scattered, the might
of the Numenoreans finally brought to naught despite years of toil and
sacrifice.

Was this his fate-- to give his child, together with life death's sentence, and
capitulation with his throne? Was he to see the last days of his proud house?

Suddenly, his boy's cry rent the air, spirited, demanding, trusting, utterly
helpless, and Araphant felt the frown dissolve into a smile.

"Not Arvedui," he whispered. "Beren. Valar, give him power over his destiny."

~the end

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