A Warning

It was a cool night in Ithilien. All was quiet save for the ever-present gurgling of the waterfall at the Window to the West and those soft snores of sleeping men that could be heard above it.

Faramir of Gondor, and Captain of the Ithilien Rangers, stood guard at the entrance to their stone fortress, gazing out over the West, watching the fading moonlight play upon the water rippling about below him. He stiffled a yawn and attempted to shake off his need for rest, ignoring the soothing lullaby provided by the water. The night was old and the coming of dawn was near, but in this last of hour of darkness before the rising of the sun, Faramir found himself inexorably pulled towards the world where shades took form and dreams became substance.

And thus it came to pass that the young Ranger was not surprised when a voice spoke to him out of the darkness. It seemed to emanate out of the very walls of the damp cave, for it was everywhere and nowhere at once, ghosting through the air intangibly. He could discern no words but the intent was clear. It was a warning.

Fighting to wake himself Faramir drew his sword slowly, needing the sure weight of its shaft in his hand. His keen eyes scanned the darkness but nothing stirred.

Just as he sighed and made to sheath his blade the voice came back, powerful this time, and it seemed to him that his sword blazed in his hands, heatless flames devouring the blade as he stared at it in wonderment, the ghostly voice ringing out clear and true.

Seek for the Sword that was broken:

In Imladris it dwells;

And Faramir turned his grey eyes to the North where Imladris lay many leagues distant, and by some strange force his eyes pierced the veil that distance would use to shield its secrets. He saw many Elven faces, their eyes troubled and wary beneath the serene mask of their ageless countenances; dwarf lords eyeing them in suspicion; a man loitering in the corner, a star upon his brow and a flaming sword in his hands…

There shall be counsels taken

Stronger than Morgul-spells.

The voice continued to chant as if in his head and could be heard above the silent din that came in the wake of words of power spoken in a fell tongue. Even in his trance-like state Faramir recoiled from the venom in those words, a poisonous cold pervading his mind at the dire sense of finality they awoke in him, the despair. He gasped and sank to his knees as the soft voice continued in the same unhurried tone, oblivious to his woe.

There shall be shown a token,

That Doom is near at hand

For Isildur's Bane shall waken,

And there it was – that which had been lost and should never have been found. It was beautiful and It was deadly. He could see its treachery in the lust that filled the gazes of the assembled company, could hear a deep laugh filled with malice, mocking of their trust and their need of It. For It would only ever be His. It seemed to weigh each of them in turn and Faramir found he could not turn away his eyes, could no longer command his own body to do his will as It spoke to him.

I see you…son of Gondor…

And then a pure, youthful voice entered his mind offering resistance, showing immeasurable courage.

And the Halfling forth shall stand.

Hope was his once more.

She stood before him then, the owner of the cool chanting voice, and Faramir raised his eyes to meet hers. A tiny smile played about her lips as she took in the shock and awe on his face. Surely one such as she had seen it much in her lifetime. But the Steward's second son did not see it, for he could not tear his gaze from her eyes. Full of wisdom and knowledge they were, of unimaginable loss and love, joy and sorrow…so much aching, unending sorrow. Life. Pity.

Despite the many questions he could have asked Faramir found that none would fall from his lips. She seemed to know what he sought anyway for she gave a benign smile and offered a slender hand to help him to his feet. A ring glittered like a star upon her finger. And Faramir knew her. The Lady of the Golden Wood.

'A time will come for you to show your quality, Faramir of Gondor. Remember this warning and your strength, and think of all that may yet come to pass…' She whispered, her blue eyes piercing into his soul. 'Until we meet again…Namárië.'

'Namárië ,' he said, at last finding his voice.

She shimmered as she turned away, her bare footfalls soundless against the cool stone beneath her as she went down to the Pool below the Window. The cry of a gull pierced the silence and Faramir's eyes followed the lady's to gaze upon it as it soared above them. A fresh breeze whipped about his face and it seemed to him all of a sudden that no longer did he stand in Ithilien, but upon a coast where the sea stretched out before him, vast and beautiful, and a sense of longing floated upon the sighing breeze.

Galadriel turned to him then and tears sprang in his eyes for the joy he read in her own as she boarded a ship docked before them, her hand raised in a final farewell.

'The time of the Elves is over; there is strength yet in the world of Men.' She said gently, her warning echoing about him even as her figure diminished and sailed into the West.

Seek for the Sword that was broken:

In Imladris it dwells;

There shall be counsels taken

Stronger than Morgul-spells.

There shall be shown a token

That Doom is near at hand,

For Isildur's Bane shall waken,

And the Halfling forth shall stand.

The vision ceased and time resumed its normal pace as a flickering of sunlight crested the horizon, warming the sky as it bathed it in swathes of golden light, striving to fight back the shadows. It did little to warm Faramir as he stood numbly staring at his still drawn sword, his eyes unfocussed with memory. As if rousing himself he turned to the North, seeing only the trees of Ithilien, still shrouded in darkness. Beyond them, far in the distance, he knew destiny awaited him.


A/N: Thanks for reading, I hope you like it! x