Pelargir, 2nd Era 3249, 4th day of Hrivë.
To His Majesty Tar-Palantir!
To The Most Honourable Council of Andor!
Your majesty, Lords and Ladies: Salute!
Carrying your orders I set out to voyage in the year 3248 to our harbour Pelargir in Middle Earth. My habitual Trade Report is attached, but there are other matters to inform you about. These matters require explicit and separate treatment, for they are of a most serious nature and relate to the security of our Realm.
At Pelargir I met with the elvenlord Gil-Galad, who is indeed the son of Fingon Fingolfin’s son, and thus High-King of the Noldor in Middle Earth. King Gil-Galad insisted that Middle Earth is being threatened by an usurpator, who is raising mighty armies against the remaining Sindar and Noldor in Middle Earth. The Eldar believe this usurpator to be none other than the fallen Maia Sauron, who was lieutenant to Morgoth during the wars of Beleriand, and who apparently survived the War of Wrath. Númenor has received rumours about him before.
Faced with this alarming news I sent out spies to the eastern regions where Sauron’s armies are reported to have been gathering.
My spies did not find this Sauron himself, but they encountered a large army in his service. This army was led by Númenoreans! My spies were quite explicit about this. From the speech, dress and behaviour of these commanders they could be recognised beyond any doubt to be countrymen of ours. But now comes the part that is even more strange. For my lieutenant Earnur succeeded in overhearing a conversation between three of these commanders and they addressed themselves as Lords Salakhâd, Zimradûn and Belzazôr. These lords then carry the very same names as the three captains of Tar-Atanamir, who never returned from their misson to Middle Earth in the year 2215. I recall into your memory that Tar-Atanamir the Unwilling was in those days very ill and – being fearful of death getting near - sent out missions overseas to find secrets of healing.
Earnur reported also that these Númenorean army leaders had appearances and voices that were in some ways hardly human. "Hollow" and "ghastly" were the terms he used.
If – and it looks that way – these commanders in the armies of Sauron are indeed the Lords Sakakhâd, Zimradûn and Belzazôr who were in the service of Tar-Atánamir, they would be more than thousand years old! This of course would be impossible by all existing standards.
I asked King Gil-Galad about this and he regards it as perfectly possible that these commanders are indeed – as he calls it – Black Númenoreans, who have become servants to Sauron, who is known to be a powerful necromancer. He used the word Ulairi, which could be translated as Ringwraiths.
These are the matters that urgently require your attention. King Gil-Galad requested that I reminded you of the bond that was established between the Noldor of Middle Earth and the Kings of Númenor in the days of Tar-Minastir. I have decided to stay here to await your further orders.
With Highest Regards,
Elendil of Andunië,
Lord-Protector of the Guild of Ventures of Romenna,
Commander of the Blue Fleet.
Armenelos, 2nd Era 3250, 17th day of Tuilë.
For the first time in months there was an interesting subject on the agenda of the Council of Andor. The Council received an official Voyage Report of Lord Elendil. The Report, which I enclose in my diary, entails some quite alarming news. It was cause for the longest Council meeting I have yet attended.
My father, the King, was absent from this meeting as he has been absent from meetings for the past two years. All other council members were there: Lord Amandil presiding, Lord Vardamir of Eldalondë, Lord Meneldil of Sorontil and myself, then all six of the King’s Men, Pharazôn and his cronies, and the two declared Elendili, Lady Surimë of Orrostar and Lord Hathaldir of Romenna, Elendil’s father-in-law.
The meeting could not have been more disappointing. Instead of discussing the request of the elvenking all attention was diverted to this apparent mastery of death by countrymen of ours. Not only Pharazôn and his King’s Men were clearly thrilled by this aspect of the news, but also Lords Vardamir and Lord Meneldil, who are both very old men and are feeling threatened by sickness and the shadows of death. Deacon Zamîn of the Saphâzadan Aru pleaded a cautious line of action to learn more about this apparent mastery. His motion to send a delegation of scientists and ambassadors to find out more about these Númenoreans, to negotiate with Sauron and to release Elendil from his duties, was in the end accepted by a majority of eight with the votes of Lord Amandil, the elendili and myself against.
But not after the most bitter and hostile antagonies I ever witnessed in the Council of Andor. Lord Hathaldir and Pharazôn went as far as to accuse one another openly of treason. After the meeting Amandil, Surimë, Hathaldir and I came together to discuss the situation we are facing now. It is clear that the situation of Pharazôn in complete control of our scarce armed forces is no longer acceptable. We will prepare a motion in Council, allowing each of the Lordships their own military support. This will allow Romenna and Orrostar to take actions on their own account. Of course it will also bring Pharazôn’s bands out of Council control, but there is not much control to speak of here anyway.
Armenelos, 2nd Era 3250, 37th day of Lairë.
Yesterday I went to visit Lady Ecthelimë in Andunië, to give her the news about her husband, and to find out if she too had received word from Elendil. This indeed she had, and we shared our worries about the news and the decisions made by the council majority.
When I walked there beside Ecthelimë in the magnificent gardens of the White House, all the precious scents of my childhood came back to me. The flowers of oiolossë, vardarianna, and taniquelassë and between them the trees, the majestic malinornë and the silver lavaralda that Elendil and I planted when we were kids. We strolled from there to sit down at the stone-seats overlooking the western seas that the ancestors of Lord Amandil had hewn in the rocks. The climb was not too heavy for Ecthelimë, who appeared to be completely recovered from childbed.
When we went back we were greeted by a happily chattering Isildur, now grown into a 5 year old toddler, who tried to prove he can climb a 1300 year old malinornë. That little daredevil is afraid of nothing and nobody, with a mind as sharp as a razorblade. Taking Isildur between us, we went inside to the central restroom, where Ecthelimë went to feed her infant Anarion, now one week old.
When I sat there at the fireplace, with Isildur and Anarion and Ecthelimë happily reading to us her letter from Elendil, I could not help what I felt. But jealousy is an infamous state of mind, and I will not give into it.
Armenelos, 2nd Era 3250, 9th day of Yavië
Today the Council decided to take down the temple at Meneltarma and to dismiss the priests. It was the first unanimous decision of the council on any important issue I remember. When Lord Amandil and I went to persuade my father he finally yielded. The temple and its priests had been his initiative. He meant well of course, aiming at the restoration of the regular celebration of Erukyermë, Erulaitalë and Erulantalë. But it has all turned out for the worse. All he has succeeded in bringing about is a new isolated class of idolatrists, without support from any part of the population. Not from the King’s men of course, but also not from the Elendili, who have always remained loyal to the tradition that the worship of Eru and the Valar can do without priests and temples. In fact, I am sure that by their arrogance and idleness the priests have only alienated our people further from the Valar and Eru. So now it will be again as it always has been: no temples and priests on this Island of Gift.
The abolition was my idea, but trust Pharazôn to twist it to his personal gain. The people are cheering in the streets and it is his name they are calling.
Armenelos, 2nd Era 3253, 24th day of Lairë
Father is ill again. We decided to bring him from Dol Oromet to the palace here at Armenelos. He can be given better treatment here. The physicians say that his illness is caused by a "melancholic" state of mind. He is not old before his time like his brother, he is just fed up with everything.
I celebrated a fine victory in the Council today. Last week Deacon Zamîn presented a bulky report, in which historical and legal research lead to the conclusion that the decision taken in 1098 to let Tar-Ancalimë succeed to the throne after her father Tar-Aldarion had been a false one. Referring amongst others to institutions of common law, which prohibited Silmarilien daughter of Tar-Elendil to succeed to the throne in 751, the report states that succession in Númenor should on historical and legal grounds always fall to the eldest male heir. The implications are quite obvious: not I, but Pharazôn should be the successor of the throne of Númenor. Then yesterday this report was timely countered by a report just as voluminous and well-documented by the Istyamen Valaina, in which quite the opposite view is argued. It was the decision not to let Silmarien succeed to the throne which had been a false one. Examples of habitual female rule are given in the report, that goes as far back in the tradition of the Edain as Tar-Haleth, who led our ancestors into Estolad when the world was young. The implication of this report would be then, that the line of Andunië should be considered as having a rightful claim to the sceptre of Tar-Minyatur.
Taken together, these reports resulted into a nice stalemate situation, which Lord Amandil handily used to have the council declare clearly and beyond doubt that I and nobody else should be considered as the rightful heir to my father’s throne. So that is settled for now. One of these rare occasions where politics can actually be fun.
Armenelos, 2nd Era 3253, 17th day of Hrivë
Elendil came home yesterday. His voyage had been a private initiative financed by Romenna, not acknowledged by the Council as an official mission. Today I received his letter, in which he states he is well, but that he lost a ship and also many men in the battles he fought in Middle Earth, aiding the Eldar against armies of – as he describes it – Orcs and Trolls. Elendil did not see fit to face the criticisms in Council and went directly to Romenna to stay there.
The council sent him a message informing if he knew anything about the ship that was sent to negotiate with Sauron and his alleged Númenoreans. Still no word has come back of that ship, which departed from our lands more than three years ago.
Pharazôn is giving his fifth festival of the year. Food and drink, fireworks and games, and he is even sending carriages into the streets, his agents throwing gold pieces and jewelry into the crowds. He is completely committed to buying the hearts of the masses. Pharazôn is addicted to being cheered. Our little rat has grown into an icon. But I know what is inside, and he is still showing it to me when he gives me his brooding glares. Where he gets his wealth I don’t know, for it has been quite some time now since he went abroad.
Andunië, 2nd Era 3255, 6th day of Yuilë
Lord Meneldil died last week, and his position in Council was taken by Lord Imrazûn of Nindamos, a rabid King’s Man and a fanatic persecutor of the Elendili in his region. There was not much we could do to prevent this. Nindamos is an important city and is in regular turn for a Council seat. But the consequences of a King’s Party majority were immediately visible. One council decision taken yesterday was to institutionalise the mummification of bodies to preserve them after death as a legal custom. Furthermore the occurrence of decease is no longer to be referred to in official documents as Anna Fairië, The Gift of Death, but as Daûr Dolgîu, The Gloomy Night. And finally this land of ours is no longer known officially as Númenorë, but as Anadûnê.
Today I am visiting Elendil and Ecthelimë in Andunië. Sitting here in my habitual room I am overlooking the western seas. This afternoon I played catchball on the beach with Isildur and Anarion . The difference between the two kids is striking: Isildur the Wild versus Anarion the Thoughtful. Isildur is growing to be tall like his father. He is eight years old and already he reaches to my chin. To Isildur and Anarion I am not the future queen, but funny auntie Míriel. What will the future bring them in this land where the shadows are growing deeper every day? I will try to rule wisely, if only for their sakes.
Armenelos, 2nd Era 3255, 13th day of Lairë
Father is dying and the capital is in turmoil. Demonstrations in the streets, the people shouting Pharazôn’s name, offering petitions to the council. I am starting to doubt seriously whether they will let me succeed to the throne at all.
Armenelos, 2nd Era 3255, 15th day of Lairë
This early morning my father Tar-Palantir laid down his life after having ruled for 78 years. The council is in session, while I have brought my father’s body to his resting place in the Valley Of Tombs. There he now lies alongside the twenty and three Kings and Queens of Númenor that went before him. From my carriage I saw only angry faces. "Pharazôn ada Tar, Pharazôn ada Tar", and not much else to be heard. The masses are now besieging the Council Zadan.
So I am to wed Pharazôn, there is no other way. Either that or nothing. Amandil just left after bringing me the council’s decision. He has explained to me, that any effort to install me on the throne, any plain refusal to the claims of the King’s Party, would have caused a civil war. And civil war at this moment would unavoidably lead to an annihilation of the Elendili and to total victory for the King’s Party. This is the compromise that was reached. The articles of Law, forbidding intermarriage between those more nearly akin than cousins in the second degree, are to be abolished.
I am allowed to become queen, but only if I accept Pharazôn as my husband. If I don’t, Pharazôn will rule after having crushed the opposition. Amandil stressed that it was to be my decision and gave me every right to refuse. I asked him what he would do if I did. He answered that in that case it would be wisest for me and for him and all that are with us to leave this country for Pelargir and to seek alliance with the Eldar of Middle earth. I had a vision of Isildur and Anarion as fugitives in those barbaric lands, and I chose my destiny. I was born to be a queen, and a queen I will be. I will be Tar-Míriel. Maybe I will be able to alter Pharazôn’s ways. He is a spoiled brat, but not altogether evil. There it is. The rat has got his way after all, but I am not going to make it easy on him.
Armenelos, 2nd Era 3255, 20th day of Lairë
"Zimraphelin banath ‘n Ar-Pharazôn": Zimpraphel wedded King Pharazôn. That is the way it was proclaimed in the Realm and written in the scrolls. Tar-Míriel did not wed Pharazôn, but King Pharazôn wedded Zimraphel. I am being betrayed already. Pharazôn did not have the nerve to have his name inscribed as Tar-Calion in the Valley of Tombs. But my name will not be engraved there either. I don’t know if I will be able to go through with this. Have I made a mistake? Will I able to control King Rat? What sort of a husband will he be?
Part I > Part II > Part III