the fea

Coming into the Healing Room with a jar of fresh salve, Master Dínendal stopped short, set the jar down, and crossed to his patient. It took no more than a moment to confirm what he had instinctively known.

He laid the elf’s hand back on his breast, and—after a brief prayer for the safe journey of his fëa—carefully covered his face.

As a healer, Dínendal had seen more of death than most elves, but the strange absence of spirit in one of the First Born still moved him profoundly. He sat down upon an empty bed and considered the course of his patient’s decline. Now, he could see that—although apparently lifeless—until the elf’s heart had stopped beating, his hröa had still held the vital spark. The bond between hröa and fëa had been stretched... Drawn to its limit, he thought, but it had not been severed. Not until—

“Master Dínendal,” cried Eowyn, from behind the silken curtain. “Come quickly!”

Fearing the loss of another patient, the healer rushed to her side. To his relief, he could see immediately that Legolas’ chest was still rising and falling; the elf was still alive.

“He had almost gone,” said Eowyn, stroking her husband’s forehead. “But now he is coming back,”—she smiled up at the healer—“he is getting better.”

Dínendal lifted Legolas’ hand, and felt for a pulse. It was hard to find—slow, and faint—but, yes, it was stronger than it had been the last time he had taken it.

“We must carry him outside,” said Eowyn. “Straight away.”

“My Lady?”

“He wants to go back to the clearing—the clearing where we found him.”

“He wants?”

“I cannot explain how,” said Eowyn, and she had already risen, and was pulling the quilt from the next bed, “but I know that his life depends upon it.”




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