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Branwyn's Baubles  by Branwyn

An AU drabble about a favorite son of Gondor. Written for annmarwalk and Aeneid's birthdays.


"Your sons are skilled beyond their years."

Brandir inclined his head graciously. Watching them practice, he knew it to be true and not just the flattery of a friend.

"Hide behind the shield,” the armsmaster said, “Now bring your arm up. Good. See how your elbow is bent? Try to remember that.” His younger son nodded slightly, his body tensed in the unfamiliar position. The old armsmaster had taught them a different stance. ”You have lugged this shield across Ithilien, and now you need to use it. Baran, I want you to aim at the center and strike very slowly. Not too hard."

For once, his young hawks were paying heed, even without the threat of a switch.

“Is this new master a local man?”

“No, he came to us in the early spring.”

“Young and well-trained; why bury himself on this forsaken coastline? A deserter?”

“No, I think not.”

As the armsmaster strode across the courtyard to fetch a second practice sword, he glanced toward the keep.

“That cannot be! He looks just like—“

“Leave it, old friend!” Brandir interrupted sharply, adding under his breath, “Do not speak his name; it is best to leave the dead in peace.”

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