Summary: It turns out you can serve two masters...
Characters/Pairing: Gondorrim, Haradrim OCs
Warnings: Mature concepts
Book/Source: LOTR appendix
Disclaimer: I'm neither JRRT nor making money off this.
Lend: The coin's two sides
Next morn, Captain called muster.
“Remember well our duty,” Ránion told Poros's assembled soldiers. “We defend Gondor's integrity: maintain peace, keep Haradrim out. Clear?”
Someone shifted. Ránion turned sharply, stared...
“Sir?” Celbaran heard himself ask. “When the Khan's men come, these a-lehani – shan't they run?”
“And if they seek escape by the Crossings? Captain,” he asked, “must we lend our swords to Harad's vengeance?”
Silence, then: “Say rather, to Gondor's interests.”
Gondor's interests. Later, Celbaran spies the woman, wearily balancing squabbling children on either arm.
Appeasement is not peace, yet impoverished power, Gondor – they – will kill even for that.