I want to just say that I am truly truly sorry about the bad word the previous chapter. I really had no intention of the word getting in there, and in fact, it isn’t the word that rhymes with truckers. It actually rhymes with mass-thirds. Nonetheless, I want to sincerely apologize. I rarely, if ever, curse in my life or in my writing, and so I make this oath to you, my two readers(Hopefully I get more soon!) that I will never again use foul language knowingly. This I swear.
Thank you so much for pointing this error out to me. If I hadn’t been informed, I would never had known it was in there. Please forgive me!
Thank you! CelticWarriorCaitriona
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Chaper III Secrets’ Origins
In Minas Tirith:
King Aragorn slumped on his throne His day had not gone well…not by any stretch of the truth. His youngest daughter, Enwyn, had fallen down a flight of stairs and claimed to have broken her ankle. Being a teenage girl, she whined all day, yet refused to have her father look at it. No, she wanted the new young healer to look at it. The cute one with the brown hair and eyes? You know, the new apprentice, right, Adda?
Aragorn had rolled his eyes and left his daughter to her fake whining. It was plain that she wasn’t in any tremendous amount of pain, and it annoyed him so much that he had yelled at his Captain Branson, and then engaged in a heated shouting match with his wife. Oh, she was fine, never took him seriously when he yelled. Yet, he knew that he had hurt her. And for that he was ashamed. No man should ever yell at his wife, not if he considered himself honorable.
On top of these occurences, plus some widening divisions in his Council, unbidden memories of his son had haunted him all week. His grisly death followed the King all night and day, yet it had never tortured him so much as it had the day before, when fresh reports of orcs in Gondor were brought by a hotheaded young Ranger. Aragorn’s mind had recoiled, and so he had made an unwise decision, it seemed that he had been making a lot of those lately. It would probably cost him dearly, yet he didn’t dwell on it. Nothing was nor ever would be as dear as the life of his son. Elessar’s mind recalled the words from Theoden King of Rohan all those many years ago as he had buried his own son, Theodred. Then, the words had rung true and tragic, but never so much as that grisly day nearly ten years ago…"No father should outlive his son…"
The beginning of the day had been Eldarion’s 19th birthday, and he was chomping at the bit to get his freedom. You see, Elessar had promised Eldarion that he would give him a mission that wasn’t for "little imps," as Eldarion called them. For the last 12 years, Eldarion had been in training to be a soldier, a horseman, and a good Ranger, like his father. He had become almost an expert, except for his hot temper and lack of common sense. He did things – stupid, risky things- and that had caused his father to only hand out small, almost unimportant missions. Perhaps he was being too overprotective, too overbearing. Nonetheless, the king only wanted the best for his son, but Eldarion, of course, thought otherwise. He wanted the big adventures, the grandness and glry that went along with big deeds and heroics. Sure, he’d learned to fight and track and scout as well as his father, yet he’d never been truly tested. He whined and complained for a solid month before his birthday, and the King had finally consented to a larger mission, growing weary of all the complaining. Lady Arwen also had a sly hand in the decision. She had grown worried that Eldarion would not learn to control his tember and his carelessness unless he was tested in such a way that he HAD to learn. So, the King relinquished.
It was to be a large scouting party that would traverse into the wilds of Gondor and Southron. Reports came in sporadically that orcs and goblins roamed around too freely. People became uneasy, and that put the whole Council on edge. Considering the circumstances, the King approved of the scouting party.
Needless to say, Eldarion was ecstatic, and spent the whole morning polishing his armor, his weapons, and even his saddle! One servant heard him exclaim, "Finally! A chance for glory!" It was all a grand game to him, it seemed. Still, Aragorn had his doubts. They were well founded, as it turned out. A messenger rode in bringing news of a party of hunters that had been slaughtered to the last man in South Gondor. The orcs were getting bolder. This was enough to reverse the King’s decision: he forbade his son to participate. Naturally, Eldarion was furious! "Why?!" he asked, red-faced. The only answer he got from his father was a lame explanation that his grandfather had been killed by orcs, and his own father should have been too, on several occasions. Eldarion saw right through this, and was appalled that his own father was using it as a shield for his over-protectiveness.
In a rage, Eldarion cursed his father and the House of Gondor, and smashed all the glass in the room to the floor. He left shrieking cureses on his father’s head. They were the last his father would hear.
So stunned by the outburt, Aragorn sat on his throne, staring straight ahead until late in the evening. When Eldarion was reported missing, the only words he said were, "Keep the Gates unlocked."
No news, no sign for 3 days and nights. The morning of the 4th day began with the worst thunderstorm since the War of the Ring. The news that came at noon proved to make the day grow even blacker. The raiding party had been murdered – to the last man – and their remains were incinerated underneath the open skies of Gondor. The Prince’s armor, sword, and saddle were the only evidences ever found.
Middle Earth mourned for a sold year, but none so much as Aragorn II and Arwen Undomiel, High King and Queen of Gondor and Arnor. The King was ever more changed…