Disclaimer: It's all Tolkien's.
Author's Note: For the 'bitter' challenge, obviously (I couldn't come up with a more creative title). And yes, I'm there again. I've stayed away from that hill for a while, but it always draws me back.
The blood was bitter upon his tongue, with the tang of charlatan's gold: coppery beneath the gleaming gilt. For a moment he tasted wine, rich and full-bodied, poured from a sun-warmed jug; but there was no wine here, and the sun would never warm this vessel again. The drops upon his cheek were salty and stinging, but these were not a charlatan's tears: these were the tears of a king - copper plate without but precious gold within. He thought of his White City and the throne which he would never see filled, and the grief was bitter upon his heart.