Home » Fiction


This story is rated «NC-17», and carries the warnings «Sex, polyamory, angst, politics, economics. Lots of economics! It's long - over 30,000 words.».
Since you have switched on the adult content filter, this story is hidden. To read this story, you have to switch off the adult content filter. [what's this?]

Remember that whether you have the adult content filter switched on or off, this is always an adults only site.

The Prince of Ithilien (NC-17) Print

Written by Raihon

08 June 2007 | 33215 words

[ all pages ]

The Power of a Prince

“What happened to your hand?” Elphir asked, embracing his cousin.

Faramir hugged him back with one arm. “I got distracted at the wrong moment and got my hand in the way of the other man’s sword. It is just bruised. I bound it to keep the swelling down.”

“I will go see if there is any ice in the kitchen. Father is in the other room,” Elphir gestured across the hall.

Faramir joined Imrahil in front of the fireplace. A servant handed him a cup of wine and he sipped it slowly.

“When will Éowyn arrive?” Imrahil asked.

“The day before the Council begins. I wish she would not come. She is very far along and tires easily.”

“So why is she coming, if you do not wish it?” Imrahil asked, winking.

“Frankly, I did tell her to stay home, but she would not listen to reason. She gives her Lord loyalty, but no obedience whatsoever,” Faramir said, shaking his head.

Elphir returned and said, “someone has gone to fetch ice.”

The three men sat in comfortable chairs by the hearth and shared news of their families. Elphir’s wife, Niniel, and his infant daughter joined them for dinner and Faramir caught up on the last six months of events on the Falas.

“The herds in the uplands are doing well,” Imrahil said.

“There has been no blight since the war and the grasses in Anfalas have never been better,” Elphir added.

“Maritime and river trade is at two thirds of its pre-war level, so that is not bad,” Imrahil continued. “There are goods waiting to ship, but we do not have enough vessels to meet the demand.”

Faramir’s attention focused intently on his uncle.

“The lumber shortage has meant that commercial vessels have to wait longer to be repaired,” Imrahil said, meeting Faramir’s gaze. “We do not have the men up in Lamedon to harvest both trees and crops.”

“Meanwhile, we have too many men, merchants, sailors and fishermen, sitting idle in Dol Amroth, getting into mischief,” Niniel sighed.

“You try and joke with them about heading inland to find work and they look at you as if you just asked them to turn into an eagle and fly away,” Elphir said with irritation. “They can always pull their supper from the sea. They do not care that others upstream or down the coast depend on the grain and the fruit from Lamedon.”

Imrahil frowned. “Do not be too harsh on them, for it is only their supper they can find in the sea. Without a boat to pull in a catch, they have no coin for a homestead or a bride.” Again Imrahil looked at Faramir and nodded almost imperceptibly. “We cannot expect them to become inlanders for a season or two just to pick up a few pieces of silver. It is not worth their trouble, even if there is no other way for them to earn. Until prices become normal again, nothing is going to work properly in the Kingdom, but it is up to us to find a way to make things work until then.”

One corner of Faramir’s mouth tilted upward, acknowledging the friction between himself and his uncle over the King’s policy on prices. “As you say, Uncle, we have to find a way. It is our responsibility to balance the different parts of the economy or the price restrictions will benefit no one. With trade and production artificially suppressed, we are the ones who must manage either wages or supply.”

“You think we should offer payment for seasonal labor out of the treasury?” Elphir asked.

Faramir tilted his head. “What do you think?”

The baby started fussing so Niniel excused herself. Elphir thought for a moment and said, “It is not the Prince’s place to offer that incentive. Father could broker the offer to the men on the coast, but the transaction with the workers must be conducted directly with the lords of Lamedon.”

Faramir smiled. “And why is that?”

Elphir laughed. “You may be a few years my elder, but you are not my tutor! Who are you to quiz me so?”

“I am your pupil,” Faramir answered. “Yours and your father’s,” he said, glancing at Imrahil. “I am trying to learn how to be a Prince.”

A look of comprehension came across Imrahil’s face, but then he gave Faramir a probing look while his son answered the question Faramir had posed.

“Well, first of all, it is too low level a transaction for us to be interested in it. It is beneath us to manage affairs at the level of paying workers. Secondly, it would be seen by the Lords as interfering with their affairs. And third, if we brokered the deal, we could control the terms of the agreement, giving us more of what we want.”

“Which is?” Faramir asked.

“Power,” Imrahil said.

“Really?” Faramir asked.

Imrahil took a drink of his wine before speaking. “Yes. Of course!” he scolded. “Power. The Prince must circulate power in such a way that it keeps moving, bringing benefit to people all over the land. Each time power moves, however, it should pass through the Prince’s hands on its way to wherever it is going.”

Faramir nodded slowly. “So you do not possess power as much as you possess the ability to circulate power.”

Imrahil smiled wryly at his nephew. “All the power you and I possess is contained in a single word: Prince. Everything else is watching, waiting, and working.”

Faramir shook his head. “I am sorry, but you are wrong in one thing. My power is also contained in a second word: Steward.”

“True enough,” Imrahil conceded, and searched Faramir’s face. “But the power of the Steward is of a different nature. Perhaps it is time you unlearned some of your father’s lessons.”

Faramir shifted uncomfortably in his seat, thrown off balance by this thought. He chuckled grimly to hide his feelings. “He might be gratified to know that I learned any of them.”

Imrahil clucked his tongue and shook his head. “Do not exaggerate your differences with Denethor,” he said in a tone that implied he was tired of hearing such words. “In trying to please him, some of his lessons you have learned too well. You have learned that power is static, resting quietly in history, in records and traditions, and that he who controls the center wields power.”

Imrahil exchanged a long look with Faramir, whose face had flushed. “I do not envy you, nephew,” Imrahil said, softening his tone. “You not only have to learn an entirely new approach to your duties, but you have to divide yourself in order to do so. In justly rewarding you, the King has put you in a difficult position. You serve two masters.”

Is that all? Faramir wondered, or is this slave shackled to three masters? He suddenly recalled that he had left the bracelet in Aragorn’s study. Faramir took a deep breath to calm his stomach, which had started to sour. He forced himself to turn his attention back to what he intended to discuss with his uncle. “It is difficult, but I am learning. This issue of timber, for example, is my first real test.”

Imrahil smiled knowingly. “Yes, you mentioned something about managing supply?”

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

Enjoyed this story? Then be sure to let the author know by posting a comment at https://www.faramirfiction.com/fiction/the-prince-of-ithilien. Positive feedback is what keeps authors writing more stories!

3 Comment(s)

This was an excellent piece. Once I started reading, I could not stop. This story made me think and I could feel Faramir’s confusion about his roles. Interesting take and probably spot on. Also, loved the idea of the bracelet and especially how it tied in at the end. Gave me warm fuzzies.

— Escribej    Monday 11 June 2007, 12:05    #

Very sweet, and having the politicians of Gondor involved with actual politics—what is Arda coming to? Interesting and well done. I now need to go back and read the beginning to this, as it has been too long.

— Bell Witch    Tuesday 12 June 2007, 5:33    #

A wonderful read and very well written: just the story I had been waiting for for so long… I look forward to seeing more from you.

Thank you so much for sharing!

— HU    Thursday 21 June 2007, 17:51    #

Subscribe to comments | Get comments by email | View all recent comments


  Textile help

All fields except 'Web' are required. The 'submit' button will become active after you've clicked 'preview'.
Your email address will NOT be displayed publicly. It will only be sent to the author so she (he) can reply to your comment in private. If you want to keep track of comments on this article, you can subscribe to its comments feed.


Hide | Show adult content

Adult content is shown. [what's this?]

Adult content is hidden.
NB: This site is still for adults only, even with the adult content filter on! [what's this?]


  • DE
  • ES
  • JP
  • FR
  • PT
  • KO
  • IT
  • RU
  • CN