Disclaimer: I don't own The Lord of the Rings. I don't intend to profit from it.

Day 12 of my fic-a-day New Year's project. See my profile for fandoms/details if interested.

We keep the faith

In little cottages on mountaintops

Set apart from the kingdoms that we serve.

We look down from lonely heights

On Rohan's plains and Gondor's glories.

We watch the people pass below

Specks small with distance

But precious to us.

No lore-master sings a lay of the keepers of the beacons

Of how we wait through long years, ever watchful.

But we are proud to serve,

Sensible of the honor it is to be the keepers of these flames.

Our fires are the first warning of danger

Swift as an arrow in the night

Or the last hope for deliverance.

We bear the messages of kings.

"Keep faith, Horselords," our fire cries,

"Now is our hour of need!"

A lifespan passes before a message burns again:

"Men of the Citadel, our brothers from days long past

Be our brothers still!"

We are links, each family on its mountaintop

A burning chain spanning time and distance.

Through us flows ancient loyalty to ancient love.

Our fires proclaim

The trust that turns the darkest tides

The brotherhood the Shadow cannot crush.

Until the time that we are needed

We keep the faith

We await the day the darkness comes once more

and good men unite

And the beacons burn again.

You can just barely see them in the films, and I still remember watching RotK in the theater and being suddenly struck by the idea of the beacon-keepers. A decade later, I still think they're the coolest throwaway characters in the series.