Story by Lynne Dhenson


"The shards of Narsil." He could not help himself from taking up the ancient hilt, feeling it settle easily, coldly, into his palms, as though it had been made for him… He ran expert fingers along the blade, taking care not to touch the razor edge or the terrible jagged tip that caught the soft light of the chamber and flashed it back harder by a hundredfold… The shattered pieces strewn across their bed of pale velvet were more vivid testament to Sauron's awesome strength than any painted depiction could ever be. To think that he, three thousand years later, was now touching the very same bit of steel that had passed through the Dark Lord's flesh…

His eye told him that the blade did not move, but he felt it lunge in his hand like a live thing, and sink its fang deep into his index finger. He jerked the haft away, but it was too late; blood welled up instantly, deep crimson and hot.