Faramir has found all
his heart desires. But when he risks losing much of what he had gained,
help arrives from an unexpected source.
I don’t own these characters.
I borrowed them from Tolkien’s wonderful books LOTR and the Simarillion
and will give them back unharmed.
Faramir yawned and stirred
as the servant tapped on his door to bring his morning tea. Waking alone
in his apartment in the Citadel was a more leisurely affair than when
he was at home with Éowyn and his son where the baby’s crying to
be fed usually rudely awakened him. Nevertheless he missed them. He
even missed his favourite hound greeting him each morning.
Faramir was only melancholy
for a moment, though, when he remembered his plans for the day. He had
a meeting with the King that morning and would dine with him and the
Queen that night. Maybe if the day’s business was swiftly concluded
they might even be able to go out riding for an hour. Faramir often
thought he was the most fortunate man on Middle-earth and rejoiced in
all the happiness he had found since Aragorn had saved him from succumbing
to the Black Breath. He served a King whom he loved and admired, was
married to the fairest of ladies; he was certain his son was the bonniest
in Gondor and he took great pleasure in his work, faithfully serving
the land he was devoted to.
The Steward hummed contentedly
to himself as he drank his tea. The morning sun streamed through the
window and it promised to be a fine day. The servant had also brought
him a message, which was marked as both urgent and confidential. Faramir,
at Aragorn’s behest, had been conducting some complicated trade negotiations
with Khand, which had not been going well. Noticing that the seal was
that of the Lord of Khand, he tore open the message with some apprehension,
but smiled with delight when he read it. Lord Abioye wrote that he wished
to give his consent to trade with Gondor. The message instructed Faramir
to take the letter to the Ambassador from Khand together with the discussed
trade agreement so that the deal could be quietly concluded without
any public mention, as certain factions in both Khand and Gondor were
opposed to better relations between their two nations.
Faramir folded the parchment
and placed it on the table on top of a pile of documents he had been
preparing the night before to discuss at this morning’s meeting. The
servant returned to take away his empty cup and lay out his clothes
for the day. Faramir asked him to open his window and prepare the bath
for his morning ablutions. The fresh autumn breeze chased away the last
vestiges of sleepiness as he prepared for the day ahead.
“I have excellent news to
tell you!” Faramir informed Aragorn as soon as he entered the King’s
study shortly after breakfast. “Lord Abioye has agreed to trade with
us. We just need to draw up a treaty and send it together with this
document to his ambassador.”
That is wonderful news, Faramir!”
Aragorn exclaimed. “I expected the negotiations to take months or
“Reading between the lines,
I think Lord Abioye’s chief wife has a fancy for mithril bracelets,”
“Just as our ladies have
a liking for their pearls,” said Aragorn. “Let me see the letter
“I have it here.” Faramir
rummaged amongst the sheaf of papers in his hands and frowned. “I
put it with these documents, but this is the bill for the repairs to
the third circle, and this is the invitation to dinner with the Ambassador
from Dale. It must be here!” Frantically, he leafed through the parchments.”
You look, please!” he asked Aragorn after a third attempt failed to
“Are you certain you had
such a document?” Aragorn demanded after an equally fruitless search.
”Maybe you dreamed that you had? Perhaps you have been working too
hard on the treaty?”
“No, sire,” Faramir protested.
“I did have the parchment in my hand but an hour ago. I have no idea
what could have happened to it.”
“How could you be so careless
then as to lose it?” Anger flashed in Aragorn’s eyes. “You know
how much this agreement means to Gondor and how long we have worked
for it. Lord Abioye is not an easy man.”
“I cannot see how I could
have lost it,” said Faramir. “I opened it and put it on the table
when I had read it. I was there in the room when my servant prepared
my bath and I locked the door after he left. I brought all the documents
I had on the table. Maybe if I ask Lord Abioye to send another copy,
“He is more likely to demand
that I send him your head on a platter for having lost it!” Aragorn
snapped. “This is most unlike you, Faramir, I have never known you
mislay an important document, or indeed any document before. Yet you
have every trivial report here, but not the one document that matters!”
“Shall I go and look for
it, sire?” Faramir asked.
“As you have no idea where
you might have lost it, we will finish our work here first,” Aragorn
Faramir worked doubly hard
that morning, but although the King reproached him no further, he knew
that Aragorn was very angry. The Steward did not blame him, as he knew
Aragorn had laboured long to obtain the treaty as well as attending
several highly tedious dinners with the ambassador from Khand. It seemed
now that all the hard work was for nothing.
When the bell rang for the
noonday meal, he was glad to take his leave of the King and made his
excuses not to attend dinner with him and Queen Arwen that evening,
certain that Aragorn would not wish to have to behold him again that
day. Aragorn did not attempt to change his Steward’s mind.
Faramir did not feel like eating
and returned at once to his chambers, which he proceeded to search inch
by inch for the missing document. He searched under the bedclothes,
in every pocket and drawer, and even under the rugs, but all in vain.
After several hours of fruitless
searching, in which he found nothing save the oilskin in which the document
had been wrapped, Faramir sank down the bed and closed his weary eyes.
He did not greatly fear Aragorn’s anger, unlike he had that of his
father, but letting down a man whom he loved and respected; was far
worse than any punishment that could be meted out to him. Aragorn had
trusted him and he had let his lord down, and Gondor too. So many of
Gondor’s folk would have profited from the treaty; not just rich merchants,
but craftsman and labourers and even poor widows who earned a living
threading beads in their homes. He would gladly have begged Lord Abioye
for another document, but knew all too well that the proud ruler of
Khand would be outraged that he had lost the first one and immediately
refuse all further negotiations. It was believed that everything a lord
of Khand touched was sacred to their gods. Faramir shuddered. What if
his carelessness led to war? He had lost everything that he had
gained since the day that Aragorn had healed him in one moment of carelessness.
Maybe his father had been right in his low opinion of him? How much
better a Steward Boromir would have made! Maybe he should suggest that
Aragorn find a Steward more worthy of Gondor? ”Valar help me!” Faramir
pleaded desperately. He closed his eyes and tried once again to think
where the precious document might be found.
Faramir felt his hand being
gently licked. For a moment he thought that somehow his faithful hound
had come to comfort him in the Citadel. Then he opened his eyes and
struggled to suppress a cry of alarm when he beheld an enormous wolfhound
standing beside him. The creature was as large as a small horse and
only just fitted comfortably into the chamber. Yet it continued to gently
lick his hand and wagged its tail, threatening to dislodge a portrait
of Éowyn and Elboron, which stood on the dressing table.
“Have no fear, Faramir, son
of Denethor, faithful friend and servant of Aragorn Elessar,” said
the wolfhound. “Nothing is lost that I cannot find. I have come to
“Huan?” Faramir regarded
the great hound in wonder.
“You know me then, Faramir?”
The hound sounded pleased.
“All men of learning know
your story,” Faramir replied. “How you aided fair Lúthien and brave
Beren in their trials, but were slain at last by the terrible wolf.”
The hound sighed. “I miss
Lúthien still. Never was there a sweeter nor fairer lady than my mistress.
She is gone forever with her beloved beyond the circles of the world,
while I was permitted to return to my master Oromë in the Blessed Realm
and granted leave to speak whenever I will. He has sent me forth to
find that which is lost. You called for aid, Faramir, and as you care
tenderly for all creatures, I am come. There is no scent that I cannot
Faramir held out the oilskin
to the hound. Huan sniffed it thoroughly and then made straight for
a heavy linen chest that stood at the far side of the room.
“The parchment is there?
But however did it come to be amongst my clean shirts? I searched amongst
them but an hour ago.”
“The paper is not in the
chest but beneath it.”
Faramir knelt on the ground
and sure enough there was a gap just large enough for a thin parchment
to be concealed beneath. “I have found it!” he cried as his fingers
grasped a corner of the parchment. He patted Huan gratefully.
“Faramir! Are you well? Faramir?”
Aragorn calling him roused
the Steward from slumber. “Come in!” he called.
Aragorn entered his chamber
looking concerned. “I am sorry I was so angry earlier,” he said.
“Everyone loses something occasionally. I feared that you might be
troubled still over the lost document. Your cook told me that you ate
nothing at midday. Come and dine with Arwen and me. I would not have
you alone and in distress. I hope you will forgive the way I spoke to
you earlier? I would not hazard the friendship I have found with you.”
“There is nothing to forgive,
sire,” said Faramir, rising from the bed. “I believe the document
is under the linen chest. I will just pull it out from against the wall.”
“Let me help you,” said
Together they hauled the heavy
chest to one side to reveal to document beneath.
Faramir bent to retrieve it
and handed it to Aragorn, his eyes bright with joy and gratitude. “I
wonder how it came to be here?” he said.
Aragorn looked around the room.
His eyes moved towards the open window. ”I would guess a sudden gust
of wind blew the document under the linen chest, and maybe a maid unwittingly
swept it further underneath,” he said thoughtfully. “It has mostly
been a gentle breeze today, but there were one or two strong gusts.
Arwen was complaining that a branch snapped off her favourite rose bush
and Eldarion was crying that his kite blew away. But how did you realise
it was here?”
Faramir rubbed his eyes. “Huan
found it for me,” he said.
“Huan, the Hound of Valinor?”
“I suppose I must have been
dreaming, but it was so vivid. He was here in the room with me. He told
me that he had been sent because of my love for all creatures and because
I called upon the Valar for help.”
“There are many things that
we cannot understand, my friend. Now come and eat, you must be very
With a protective arm lightly
draped around his Steward’s shoulder, and the precious parchment in
his free hand, Aragorn led his friend to the dining room where an evening
of friendship and good food awaited.