Written for B2MeM Day Two. (The prompt is below)

"Good and ill have not change since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."

I call to you.

I am as bright and sweet and glittering, stirring your blood, tempting you yet ever out of your reach, as high unattainable as the stars. But then, Eärendil had the blood of Men, and he is now a star.

But he is of the line of the Peredhil as few are now.

I show you visions, visions of white towers, and victory. Yes, victory! Victory over Sauron, and Mordor yours to rule, as it once was before, Middle-earth fair again, the world of Men restored to the glory of yore, Elven-kingdoms destroyed…

Wait. Wait. What sorcery is this? As little as I like them, the Elves aid us as we fight the long defeat.1

Mordor quailing beneath Gondor, the Southrons and Easterlings paying you tribute, Sauron your thrall!

But Ar-Pharazon took Sauron into slavery, and was destroyed along with his land.

Blood! Red blood-wine, staining your blade and singing in your veins, leading you to a world which you can never attain except in battle.

Faramir is the wisest and Man I know, Denethor the most powerful, yet neither revere war or revel in it. They see it as a necessity, albeit an evil one, and I follow their example.

A woman's touch, a man's touch upon your skin, the whole world yours to command for pleasure! Men and women and children your thralls. No mortal can resist that?

Any who give me their love must give it freely or I will not take. Is this the best you can do?

Take me! Take me or the war Gondor fights will be useless. Her proud towers will fall, her men and boys will become thralls, her women and girls concubines. And the world will be in Darkness forever. But claim me for your own, hold me to your heart, use me for Gondor, and then…then she will rise! She will stay as she is and Mordor will fall! It is your choice. Resist and doom your city, or take me for your own and triumph.

A pause.


Yes. Yes I will.

1 Gandalf's words in RotK. I think. Or was it Elrond?

A rather poor excuse for the twisting of the plot: as soon as I read the prompt, the words "It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house" jumped out at me. We know, sort of, that Borormir succumbed to the Ring in the Golden Wood. But how did he fall under Its spell? What did It offer to him? This was the result of those thoughts.