Author's Chapter Notes:
A notorious future queen advances her plans. (Queen Berúthiel, OCs)
"May I speak with the King's mother?" Berúthiel requested sweetly. Beside her padded a small black cat whose fur matched her gown.
Widowed Queen Iandis gestured for her handmaiden to pour wine. "What brings you here, Lady Berúthiel?"
Berúthiel lowered her eyes. "To seek your pardon."
Iandis nodded kindly. "I am not angry. But you cannot wed the King." While they spoke, Iandis's handmaid watched distrustfully. Her eyes never wavered, until the cat's sharp teeth sank into her ankle. At her outcry, Iandis turned to look.
Berúthiel's hand fluttered lightly over Iandis's cup.
That evening, Lady Iandis was taken ill.
Chapter End Notes:
Written for Back to Middle-earth Month 2012. Prompt I18: "Cause of Death: Poison."
According to a footnote by Christopher Tolkien in Unfinished Tales, Queen Berúthiel was "the nefarious, solitary, and loveless wife of Tarannon, twelfth King of Gondor." She had ten cats which spied for her and helped her terrorize the kingdom.