“People of Osgiliath!” Orodreth of Morthond addressed
the multitude assmbled before the Dome of Stars. “Your
defence of this city has been a valiant one, amd yet ill
surrendering peacefully You have lost no honour; but rather
have shown wisdom in a hard time. Eldacar who once was
King. is now fled, and so has abandoned that claim. The
captains will choose a rightfull successor to rule over you in
his stead. We are not your enemies! See, Ornendil whom you
love I have defeated in fair combat; he shall receive mercy and
live without shame. Pledge to us your loyalty) and You shall
fare likewise.”
The crowd heard him gladly, thinking that their lives would
be spared, if they submitted to the victorious rebels. Orodreth,
too, was relieved at their response, for he desired to stay the
rebels from exacting punishment on the citizense of Osgiliath,
who had supported the now-exiled King during the siege of
the preceding months. He had personally led the final attack
on the Great Bridge, and had captured both Ornendil and his
own cousin Mórdulin, who was Ornendil’s betrothed.
At first he had proposed to allow their escape,for they had
been close in friendship before the outbreak of the war five
yeaTS ago; but Orodreth’s trusted companions from Linhir
urged him to bring them before the captains for judgement.
Castamir, they assured him, proposed to spare the King’s son
in order to gain the confidence of the people, Only in this way,
they said, could Orodreth hope to save the people of Osgiliath
from the vengefull captains of Pelargir.
It was a lie.
As the people debated among. themselves what their answer
should be, a voice was raised among the captains. It was
Calimon of Lebennin, the cousin of Castamir; who held a
grudge against Orodreth. He had bribed Orodreth’s companions
to persuade their leader to bring Onundil into their
power, and now his rival from Morthond had fallen into
Castamir’s trap.
“Orodreth,” said he, "the captains applaud your undying
efforts to avert needless bloodshed in this unfortunate kinstrife;
but it sums that in sparing Ornendil’s lift you have
overstepped Your bounds. For though Eldacar is fled as You
say, he has not in truth relinquished his claim to the throne.
You, Orodreth, have willingly spared the life of his son and
heir, whose blood is a threat to our righteous cause, and some
there are who tells us that you had thought to set Ornendil free,
rather than slaying him at once as you should have.
“What proof have We that You also do not harbour ill designs
against us? What assurance do we possess that your
betrayal is not a ploy of Belfalas against our confederacy?
Indees, what token of your allegiance could you give that
would dissuade us from naming you traitor?” At these words
Orodreth grew silent, knowing that he had been betrayed. His
treacherous companions smiled aJ\t the success of Castamir’s
Design. Mórdulin clutched Ornendil, fearing for the life of her
beloved. The fate of Osgiliath hang by a thread.
But Calimon laughed, and mocked his defeated rival.
“Come now, Captain of Morthond!What better way to
allay our suspicion than finish what you have started?
Kill Ornendil or be declared our foe!”
Then Orodreth heart was smitten as by a blow, and he drew his sword,
knowing what evil he was about to commit for the salvation of
Belfalas. For he percieved that, should he fail to comply, Castamir
would use his disobedience as a pretext to invade his uncle’s fief
of Dor-en-Ernil that had remained neutral in the war agains Eldacar.
Mórdulin was torn screaming from Ornendil’s side by Castamir men, cursing
her cousin to death and darkness for the doom he had sown, but Ornendil
stood his ground, seeing his death.
“Did I now warn you that rebels would be your undoing? he said to Orodreth,
who’s blade wavered. “Now we are both trapped by this usurpers design.”
But Orodreth, blinded by despair, raised his sword and cried:
“Forgive me Ornendil, and curse my fate!”
And he slew the King’s son before the people.
Then he cast his sword aside and, falling to his knees,
raised his eyes to heaven and whispered: “Neithan ni gerino.”
Upon witnessing Ornendil’s murder, the people of Osgiliath
were unable to restrain their wrath, and began to attack the
rebels in mad frenzy, only to be slaughtered in heaps upon
the steps of the Dome of Stars.
Castamir gave orders at once to burn the city and show no mercy
to any who resisted. The Usurper’s reign had begun, and the memory of evil
would not be forgotten….


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