Arda does not belong to me; l belong to Arda.
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Sometimes after dinner, while others sing or recount tales of old exploits, the hearth light changes before his eyes, surging to surround him and Elendil’s heir on a narrow spit of rock.
Sometimes the flickering glow of a red star can bring the memory back; other times the play of candlelight across his skin is enough to conjure the vision.
Isildur turns to go. Always, he stands dumbstruck and allows the man to leave.
Turning away from the wizard’s words, he fixes his gaze carefully on the river in the distance. “Men are weak,” he mutters, unable to forgive himself.