A/N: I am seriously unproductive at the moment. I don't know where this came from, but as if I haven't enough with troublesome Fëanorians and and mean dark-elves demanding stories, now the King of Númenor wants one. It is somewhat disturbing. Not exactly violent, but not nice. Don't read if you don't like unhappy endings.

Thanks: Adûnaic words all borrowed from the brilliant site Ardalambion, http://www.ardalambion.com/ . Meanings are at the bottom. Thanks always to Professor Tolkien for creating the mythology. I know I have been somewhat lacking in disclaimers of late. Not because I think I own Arda or anything. Just because I'm forgetful... I've also probably mangled any attempt at Númenorean language here. Corrections are welcome, if anyone actually speaks it. :)

I think the moral of this is, "Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it..."

Agannâlo-dalad (Under the death-shadow)



I am the Lord of the West, the King of all Men and Elves. I am the Conqueror of the Blessed Realm. I am the God-King of Anadûnê, that all bow before and despair.

I am Ar-Pharazôn.

~~~

Dreaming of glory and victory, against the pretenders that claim the Blessed Realm for themselves. How my banners shine beneath the sun! The sea crashes against the shore and the sun rises. A lone bird cries, and the sky is stained as with blood.

Gradually, my senses return. The air is still, damp, salty and strangely dusty to breathe. The ground feels rough under my face, and as my sight comes back to me I notice it is a mixture of sand and small rocks. I look around, trying to get some idea of where I am. I seem to be in a sea-cave of some kind, but like none I have ever known. The cave is fairly large, formed by a circle of fallen rocks. Rocks as high as cliffs, and their sides sheer and smooth as glass. They do not quite meet at the top, so a thin stream of sunlight can fall in. There is no sound, except the distant crashing of the sea on a rocky shore, and my own breathing.

I am not alone in the cave. Several yards away, leaning against a rock, my high-councillor and advisor Azranarû lies, a dazed expression on his face. His helm lies at his side, the fine gold-leaf and carefully wrought iron smashed, a thin trickle of blood dried on the side of his head. It is strange I do not remember the glorious battle we fought, the great victory of the forces of Anadûnê against those of the Deathless lands. Strange that I do not sit on my throne, clad in gold and the finest silken robes, served by the former keepers of the Blessed Land. That is what was promised to me.

I realise I am lying in the dust, and slowly stand up, looking around me. Where are my armies? My ships of conquest? I do not remember arriving at this place. Where am I?

I walk across the cave. I am aware of another, a figure wearing the sea- blue garment of my fleets. As I come closer I realise I recognise him, by the white hair and the golden sword lying at his side. He is Zîrân, captain of one of my ships. But why does he lie so still?

Am I in the chambers where the wounded of our mighty victory lie?

I move back to Azranarû. So strange that, although he lies still as sleep, his eyes are open. Azranarû? Friend? Companion in war and triumph? Why does he say nothing?

It is then that I see the other side of his head. And my blood runs cold. What monstrosity of weapon could have done this? Oh, friend in happier times, who has slain you? And why am I here alone, tended by no-one for my own grief and hurts? Am I not King?

The sun passes over the narrow skylight above, and a bird, a seagull, calls across the high airs.

I run to the side of Zîrân, and know by his lack of breath that he too has given his life to the enemy. I cannot see his arm at first, but then I notice it is crushed beneath a mighty rock fallen. Oh, wisest of captains, why do you lie here untended and uncar'd for in this damp cave? I am afraid.

I call for help.

And again.

Again.

I call until my throat is hoarse and the light in the cave is all but gone. I fear the dark, almost as much as I fear death. For with the night comes things that might bring death, and I am powerless to defend myself deprived of sight. But there is no sound. I fear the silence almost as much as I fear the sounds of the night. But it befits not a King to be afraid, so I push it aside.

Giving up, I slump down on a large rock, fallen as from a great height. My feet brush something soft, that is not sand. It is...

Sea-blue silk? And chain-mail underneath? And-

It is only when I fling myself away from the rock in horror that I see the face of the one crushed beneath it. And it is only then that I recognise him, the face, the dark hair, the hair as dark as the black night, the hair I know so well, for I have seen it every day of my life. And, mocking me now, the Crown wrought by cunning hands for the Deathless King that I would become is set upon it.

The End



Meanings: Anadûnê = Numenor

Azranarû = A man's name, "Sea-man" approx.

Zîrân = Another man's name, "The Beloved" approx.

Agannâlo = "Death-shadow", the fear of death that drove the Númenoreans to their rebellion against the Valar.

A/N: It is said in the Silmarillion that: "...But Ar-Pharazôn, the King and the mortal warriors that had set foot upon the land of Aman, were buried under falling hills: There it is said that they lie imprisoned in the Caves of the Forgotton, until the Last Battle and the Day of Doom..." I thought I'd angst things up a bit. So he got what he wanted, immortality. Just not quite in the way he intended... :S