The Token

Jan. 16th, 2010 12:23 pm
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Written in response to [ profile] telperion1's prompt inspired by finding a Canadian coin: Middle-earth it really might be a sign of hope. Imagine what Faramir would have thought on seeing a Haradric coin in the Ithilien marketplace. Or so many other markets besides. Some were perhaps not so happy. (I can imagine Barliman being a bit frustrated to see he'd taken in an Isengard silverpiece by mistake, worth a lot less after Saruman's fall...)

Actually, that might make for some neat fic. Write a drabble or whatever where people find foreign coins - the rest is up to you. I'd love to read it.

Although I should be working on the Probably AU GenFic Challenge, this was irresistible because it fits in with events in the Pandë!verse during the late Third Age. And holy moly! I'm writing hobbits here. Hobbits for Pete's sake! Some text poached from The Fellowship of the Ring might be recognizable at the very beginning of this little piece.

In spite of the fur-lined jacket and cloak covering his shoulders, Merry shivered as he walked behind Pippin. A cold wind from the East whipped the bare branches of the trees, and the pines on the hills seethed. Ragged clouds scudded across the sky, dark with foreboding. Merry touched the hilt of his sword in its scabbard. It was cold as ice. Many of Elrond’s household stood in the shadows, bidding the company farewell while they watched the Company depart.

“Farewell, Master Meriadoc. I hope we shall meet again.”

When Merry heard his name, he turned to see the elven-smith, who clutched her cloak at her neck; the wond whipped loose strands of her black hair around her face. He nodded in return and remembered the apple pie he had shared with her after she had sharpened his blade and studied it so intently. He touched the hilt of the sword again. It was warm.

Then she called to Frodo, who reached into his jacket pocket briefly before withdrawing his hand to wave at her. Merry’s curiosity was piqued for earlier he had witnessed the lady Mélamírë speak words unheard to Frodo and then give something to him in the Hall of Fire.

Much later, when the company made camp during the cold grey light of dawn, Merry sat down next to Frodo.

“If you don’t mind my asking, what was it that the Istyanis gave to you?”

“I don’t mind. She gave me this.” Frodo reached into his pocket. He placed a small gold coin in Merry’s open palm. Merry picked up the coin between thumb and forefinger, turning it over to examine it. One side was embossed with a man’s profile and runes below it and on the other, an eight-pointed star.

“What is this?” Merry handed the coin back to Frodo.

“It is an ancient coin from Ost-in-Edhil. The Istyanis said that although the city had fallen, this little coin survived and has endured for many years. She wanted me to have it as a token of strength and good fortune. She told me that like the coin, I will endure, too.”

The coin caught the light of the pale sun when Frodo turned it between his fingers and placed it back in his pocket. Merry willed himself to think of the comforting hearths of Brandy Hall in an effort to stay warm, but instead, a vision of soaring white towers consumed by flames and black smoke filled his thought. He blinked, and the vision disappeared. I hope that I will endure, too, he thought, and wrapped his cloak tighter around himself against the chill morning wind.
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