B2MeM Challenge First lines – Call me -; Emotions; awe; The Steward and his sons - Captain General
Format: 500 word fixed length ficlet
Characters: Denethor, Thorongil, Ecthelion
Summary: Denethor ponders on the identity of the man known as Thorongil
These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
“Call me Thorongil,” the stranger said. He looked me straight in the eye with none of the awe usually seen in those who address Denethor, son of Ecthelion, Captain General of Gondor!
Such insolence in one who lacks even a father’s name to introduce himself by!
Who is this fellow anyway? He says he comes from Rohan, and he does indeed carry a letter of introduction from King Thengel. He is no horse lord with his dark hair, lanky frame, and grey eyes. He rides like one of them, though, man and beast becoming a single fluid entity.
My father is besotted with the man. He keeps remarking how like unto me this Thorongil is. Could he be Ecthelion’s bastard? Valar perish the thought! My father is a true son of Númenor and would never have betrayed his marriage vow and polluted himself by getting this nobody’s mother with child!
Alas, my father’s affection for this Thorongil proves that he is in his dotage. It saddens my heart deeply to see a man of such wisdom fawn upon this stranger, inviting him to his table and showering him with affection. He even lets him wear a brooch shaped like a star upon his uniform, in defiance of all our regulations! Thorongil claims that he wears it in honour of his people. Are we next to see soldiers from Dol Amroth sporting swans on the uniforms of the Citadel, while those from Lossarnach adorn themselves with flowers? Even I, as Captain General wear only a simple insignia to denote my high rank.
Then who are Thorongil’s people? Lore states that some of our Dúnedain kin yet survive in the North, a scattered and ragged remnant of a once great people. No doubt, Thorongil grew up in some mud hut there with his shamed mother and decided to improve his lot as a sellsword. He must have picked up the fine manners he uses to impress my father at Thengel’s court. It is a homely place compared to the Citadel. At least Thengel’s wife, Morwen, introduced our speech and manners there.
I have the gift to see into the hearts of Men, yet I can discern little of what secrets Thorongil’s heart hides. It is almost as if he has learned to hide his thoughts. But where could he have learned such arts and to what purpose? What could a fatherless sellsword have to hide?
Sometimes he gazes at me with those unreadable grey eyes as if he is trying to discern my thoughts, the impertinent fellow!
Yet my father seems to be in awe of the fellow’s abilities. Thorongil boasts that he has knowledge of lore and healing arts as well as soldiering. My father claims the fellow to be Elven wise. A charlatan more likely! Those who profess knowledge of many things, generally excel in none.
Yet his perfidious influence on my father grows daily. It cannot last, though, for he is a mere sellsword, while I am Captain General.