Bonus prompt: Barter
Skin for skin
Rumor isn't always wrong. Gondor's reach had shortened: lacking old allies, it had had to seek elsewhere for them.
Hurrhabi is wealthy, powerful – envied and feared. Harad's coastal cities boasted many princes who would end Hurrhabi's dominance.
“Consider your advantage, if you'll aid us,” their guest – not Gondor's ambassador – urged.
Diplomacy is the art of killing twice with one stroke: hard times spurred heretical revivals, threatening power, so the rival lords proscribed, named their price.
“Someone must suffer the blame,” they'd said. “We expect that you shall cooperate to cover us all...”
"Skin for skin" - Job 2:4.