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Akallabeth in August
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Inziladûn, the elder, was like his mother in mind as in body; but Gimilkhâd, the younger, went with his father, unless he were yet prouder and more wilful. To him Ar-Gimilzôr would have yielded the sceptre rather than to the elder son, if the laws had allowed.

The Far-Seeing King by Lady Roisin


Inziladûn’s body jerked upright, his gaze darted about the darkened room for some sort of confirmation the nightmares were not real. His hands cupped his face in an attempt to block out the images while thunder rolled overhead. Moisture had gathered upon Inziladûn’s brow in his sleep, making it feel sticky and uncomfortable. His hands withdrew from his face while he turned to look upon the cabinet close to his bedside. A half-empty pitcher sat alongside a stoneware tub, along with fresh towels. Thankfully one of the chambermaids had refilled the shallow basin of water before the King had retired for the evening.

The cool droplets helped to sooth away the lingering edges of the bad dream. Inziladûn did not wish to visit the memory of it again. The cool linen towel just barely touched his brow when a shrill sob reached Inziladûn’s ears, causing him to drop the cloth in surprise. Another wail followed the first and Inziladûn’s feet rushed towards the doorway leading into his daughter’s room.

The small girl sat upright in her little bed, her arms stretched out towards her father. Even in the brief illumination provided by lightning, Inziladûn could see the large tears rolling down his child’s face.

“There, there, " Inziladûn soothed as he drew his daughter into his arms. “My sweet Míriel, it is only a storm and shall pass.”

Not even all the gentle words a father could provide was enough to still the trembling in his daughter’s limbs. With a resonated sigh, Inziladûn lifted Míriel with one arm, allowing her to wrap her arms around his shoulders while his other hand smoothed the tangles in her dark hair. She had always been a needy child, and with good reason. There still seemed to be a place in both their hearts that missed Míriel’s mother.

Inziladûn had married late in life. But the kind-hearted maiden from Nindamos captured his heart all the same. Eäriel served as an oasis in the chaos that surrounded Inziladûn. His heart could not be any fuller when they learned she carried his heir. For many years they had prayed to the One for a child. But fate would not be entirely kind. A fever claimed Eäriel’s life mere days after Míriel was born.

Three years had passed since that horrible day, yet Inziladûn’s heart barely had the chance to mend in the midst of civil war among his people. Thankfully Míriel’s sobbing and shaking seemed to have subsided and Inziladûn carried her back into his chambers.

“The big bed?” Míriel mumbled sleepily. One of her small fists rubbed her eye in a drowsy manner as her father placed her onto the large mattress.

“Yes, the big bed,” Inziladûn whispered. “But just this is the last time. You have your own special bed now.”

Inziladûn tried to remember how many times he had said this would be the last as he leaned down to press a kiss onto his daughter’s brow and pulled the covers up to her chin before slipping underneath them himself. Maybe he needed her close for his own sake. The images from his dream haunted him, visions of Míriel’s bloodied and battered form trying to climb slippery rocks before being swept away by a great wave. The sound of her scream still sent chills down the length of Inziladûn’s spine, a horrible sound no loving father ever wanted to remember.

By now the worst of the thunder and lightning had passed and Inziladûn focused upon the soft sound of Míriel’s breathing. At least she fell asleep with little fuss or trouble this night. He reached out a hand to smooth the dark hair from his daughter’s face. Inziladûn never ceased to marvel at resemblance Míriel bore to his mother. The fact both comforted and disturbed Inziladûn at the same time. But even so, he could not deny his high hopes for his heir or the benevolent Queen she would become with a bit of luck.

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“These criminals had no right to desecrate the royal tombs! There is no further reason for this madness!” Inziladûn roared. His voice ricocheted off the stone walls with a force that surprised even him. Gimilkhâd narrowed his eyes, unwilling to back down even to his brother’s anger.

“You would not do it even to silence the growing questions?” Gimilkhâd’s voice came forth cold and biting. “There are those who murmur of conspiracy, of traitors in his midst. It would be wise to put them to rest once and for all.”

Inziladûn’s hand grasped the sceptre as Gimilkhâd took a few steps back and sneered almost triumphantly at his elder brother.

“Long live Tar-Palantir, King of Númenor.” Gimilkhâd would have shown the same level of malice had he struck Inziladûn instead of speaking in a tone laced with such venom. A few guards stepped forward but Inziladûn raised his hand and motioned them back.

“Let him go,” the King spoke sharply, his eyes following Gimilkhâd’s back until the double doors slammed behind him.

Inziladûn shook his head. “How much longer shall this madness go on for? There are people dying needlessly in the streets and yet they still insist on desecrating a royal tomb.”

The King turned his head to the side to face Númendil, the current Lord of Andúnië. The grim look upon his advisor’s face did not take Inziladûn by surprise, but his response took him aback.

“Forgive me, your Majesty,” Númendil began after clearing his throat. “I am usually in agreement with your judgment. But in this case it may be wise to answer the questions posed by this growing resistance.”

Inziladûn’s eyes went wide, “You know it is a capital crime to desecrate the tombs in Noirinan. It has been so for years uncounted.”

“I am not contesting that, your Majesty." Númendil spoke in a low tone while he leaned in a bit closer to ensure his words were heard only by the King. “They may have Ar-Gimilzôr’s remains. But you have the endless documentation your father’s physician left, leaving plenty of evidence for his death. You also have your father’s personal memories.”

“I could not possibly do such,” Inziladûn stammered. “You know as well as I that my father’s history is shameful not only to his name, but my mother’s. She left Númenor broken-hearted and disgraced by my father’s infidelities.”

The King stood from his seat and moved to one of the citadel windows. He could see the distant glimmer of the Bay of Rómenna. Every time his eyes glanced at the light dancing off the water his thoughts turned his mother. It was she who had suggested he take Tar-Palantir as his royal name. Inzilbêth left in secret after Inziladûn’s coronation. Inziladûn saw her safely to the harbors of Rómenna where she departed for the northern shores of Middle-earth, a place she hoped she would be able to disappear from history altogether. Even now Inziladûn could hear her words, insisting this choice would be best for all of them.

“Besides,” Inziladûn said as he shook himself from his short ruminations. “This resistance shall find a way to disprove the documents as propaganda.”

“Not when we have the amount of witnesses we do that would surely speak on your behalf if you were to extend your goodwill to them.” Númendil’s voice was firm, but Inziladûn did not have to turn around to hear the slight smile that would surely be on his face. The King could hear the dull thud of footfalls crossing the room before stopping at his side.

“Your father sired four other children outside his marriage to your mother. He had my father, Sorontar, oversee the allowances given in secret to the families. Ar-Gimilzôr paid those mothers for their silence, at least for awhile. It would be wise of you to extend them concern, bring them out of their poverty, and invite them to court. You need their alliances, especially in these days of great division.”

Númendil’s words struck deep into Inziladûn’s heart. He turned to face his trusted advisor as he spoke.

“Then let it be done. See to it those families have all they require and extend my invitation to them to attend court. Those who loved my mother may love her even more once their eyes are opened to all she endured as their Queen.”

Inziladûn looked out the window while he continued to speak. “I also plan to perform the Eruhantale, the great Thanksgiving to Eru, at the appointed time this autumn, just I have in years past. Make sure the word is sent forth to those who would wish to come. Not even the strife and division in this land shall avert us from worship on that holy day.”

The King was about to say more when he noticed a slight form move about in the courtyard. He could feel his eyes widen once he noticed Míriel’s familiar ribbons decorating the dark braids and the colorful frock he had seen her wearing this morning. Inziladûn rushed from the room after noting his daughter did not appear to be accompanied by her nurse.

By the time the King reached the courtyard the young Princess sat alongside Nimloth’s roots, staring with wonder at the branches overhead.

“Ada, look!” Míriel cried out and pointed upward as her father scooped her up into his arms. Inziladûn’s line of sight followed his daughter’s arm to the place she indicated. Cradled safely among the glossy leaves rested a fruit, ripe and unblemished. It was the first Inziladûn had ever witnessed and his heart stirred while he bowed his head in reverence.

“Surely Eru hears our prayers. May it be a sign of brighter days for this land. I do not doubt now the lives of those of this royal house are entwined with that of Nimloth the Fair.”

Inziladûn looked down to meet his daughter’s eyes and kissed her brow. “May we never forget.”

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