The White Tree

by Jay of Lasgalen  

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The old man moved furtively through the courtyard of the fountain.  Night’s shadows concealed him from the ever-watchful guards; their attention focused on enemies from without rather than within.

With a nimbleness that belied his apparent age, he neared the tree and reached into the clustering flowers on its crown, taking the single seed formed there.  Then down, down through the many levels and circles of the city, flitting through shadow and darkness to the great gates, before climbing again to the heights of Mindolluin.

There he halted, scooping a small hollow in the earth and placing the seed reverently within before covering it again.  Finally he stood.  “Lie hidden here, even as the race of Elendil lies hidden.  Your time will come.”

With a final glance at the secret hollow, he left the barren, snow-covered wastes to return to the city, and the aged, stooped disguise that cloaked him.


Author's Note: Remember when Aragorn and Gandalf found the sapling of the White Tree?  I began to wonder just how it got there in the first place …