Recalled to Life
3. An Exchange
The next day, a search party for Urya was organized by Elladan himself. Five men, including Aragorn, were to search the area that Urya had disappeared. Faramir was to stay behind, as his duties were to watch over the city when Elessar could not be present.
“I will return with my son soon,” Elladan announced to his sister. Arwen nodded half-heartedly. Elladan took his sister gently by the chin.
“Do not fear,” he said softly, and kissed her cheek. She returned the gesture.
“Namaarie,” she said in farewell.
She watched as the Rangers and her brother left the White City with sadness in her heart. She knew the search would not end well.
“Do not worry, my lady, Urya will be found. He is much like his aunt; not easily overwhelmed by any evil,” Eowyn comforted. Arwen turned and smiled at the lady.
“Thank you, dear Eowyn, for your words of encouragement,” she said in gratitude.
“We have searched every inch of ground in the three miles surrounding the caves and we have found nothing,” Aragorn stated with frustrated disbelief.
“Something evil has been here,” Elladan said quietly. “Can you not feel it? All sound has ceased; the birds refuse to sing.”
“Yes. And there are no animal tracks whatsoever. I cannot even find horse tracks from yesterday’s ride.” The two sat in silence for a time, considering all possibilities. Corsairs of Umbar, wildmen of the Rhun, even Orcs from Moria. Nevertheless, both felt that none of these creatures could have been able to clear every single footprint.
“We must go back to the caves. Perhaps we overlooked an entrance.”
Minutes later, the two found themselves crawling and climbing over rocks, attempting to push their bodies into tiny little caves. More than once, Aragorn had to defend himself against the spiders that were inhabitants of the caves.
“Aragorn, I think I found one that can be entered,” Elladan said, and suddenly disappeared into a three foot wide and tall mouth. Aragorn followed him, and was startled when he entered.
It was a small cave, but both Elladan and Aragorn could stand at their full height. In the center was a large, flat stone. The cavern was strangely illuminated, and the verdant glow cast shadows on Elladan’s worried face.
“This stone has been touched by man,” Aragorn commented. “See how smooth the top is? And there are on the edges.”
“I do not recognize these markings- wait! There’s a bit of Elvish over here,” Elladan said from the other side of the stone. Aragorn began to join him, but suddenly stopped.
“There’s some sort of stain, maybe blood here.” Elladan saw it and paled.
“It is blood.” He put his hand on the large stain and shuddered.
“Oh, Urya,” he whispered. Aragorn glanced at his friend, startled.
“It could be animal blood, or not even blood at all,” Aragorn suggested weakly. Elladan shook his head.
“It is my son’s.” Both knew that the amount of blood on the stone was far too much for an Elf- or Man, for that matter- to live. Elladan bowed his head for a moment, his fists clenched so tightly that his hands became bloodless. Then he snapped back up, face taught with restraint.
“Get me away from this evil place,” Elladan gasped. Aragorn obliged and the two left the cave, forgetting the Elvish words on the stone:
From death to life, from life to death
An unfair trade, a taking of breath
To recall to life, a life must give
For body and soul and heart to live
“No,” Arwen whispered when the search party returned. She ran down from her room, nightgown fluttering, wishing with all her heart that she had seen Urya amongst them.
“Where is he, Elladan? Where is Urya?” Elladan flinched at the mention of his son’s name.
“Arwen,” he began but could not find the heart to speak. Instead, he embraced his sister, chest heaving with repressed emotions.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. He broke the embrace and kissed her on the cheek, his eyes shining with unshed tears. Aragorn led him away after kissing his wife.
“I’m so sorry,” Arwen murmured again, though she knew her apology could not bring back his son.
“And so it begins,” Alatar murmured as he watched creatures from afar gather on a hill near Minas Tirith. It was the funeral for Urya.
“The time to strike is near. The army is massed and waiting. Waiting for you, my dear companion.” Alatar glance at Boromir, who lay in a deep sleep, unaware that he would play a key role in the destruction of his beloved Gondor and the rest of Middle Earth.
“Sleep now, Boromir. Dream of your father, your mother, and brother. Dream, and forget me. Forget your maker, so that you may do my work.”
The funeral ceremony began at sunset and lasted three hours. The guests remained silent through those three hours, gazing into the symbolic fire, which represented Urya’s soul.
Eowyn stared into the fire, and the all too familiar feeling of grief swept over her. She could still remember the day Theoden, her dear uncle, had fallen. He had been a father to her, and she had wept much for the late king.
But Urya’s death was different. Theoden had been an old man, and had died in battle. Urya however, was a young Elf, practically a child, and no one was certain of the cause of his death. Elladan and Aragorn refused to speak of their discoveries in the cave.
“I thank all who attended tonight,” Elladan said quietly. Eowyn suddenly realized that it was not Elladan, but Elrohir, his twin brother, who had spoken. Arwen and Elrohir were at either side of their brother, and Eowyn could easily mistake one for the other.
“If anyone wishes to honor Urya in song, he or she may do so now,” Elrohir’s gray eyes swept across the guests. Elves, men, and one Dwarf named Gimli. Many of them were gifted with song, but few knew Urya.
Eowyn, who could not consider herself gifted, stepped forward. She knew Urya well enough, and perhaps that familiarity would guide her words.
“I would like to sing,” She said, and all eyes fixed upon her.
“Please proceed, Lady Eowyn,” Elrohir said, appearing somewhat intrigued. He had heard of Eowyn, and how fierce a warrior she was, but never once had anyone spoken of her gift as a singer.
Eowyn nodded, licked her lips nervously, and began to sing. The words came naturally, as she had hoped; Urya’s character forged their way.
“I once knew a lad of great spirit
He had a fire in his soul
He lived his life with love and joy
But this lad is now gone
Even though I’ll never see again
This wonderful, spirited lad
I ne’er forget his fiery soul
Now gone to shadow land.”
There was a long stretch of silence before Elrohir spoke again. His voice was not as firm as it had been before.
“Thank you, Lady Eowyn. Your song was beautiful.” He turned to face the rest of the guests. “Thank you for attending. My sister, brother, and myself, should like to be alone now.” The guests made their way back to Minas Tirith.
Eowyn turned to leave with Faramir, but Arwen stopped her with a warm hand. Eowyn turned, and saw the tears on Arwen’s face.
“Thank you, my friend,” Arwen said, embracing Eowyn.
“Your welcome,” Eowyn said in return. The two had come to know each quite over the past four years.
Eowyn turned to see a somewhat pained expression on Faramir’s face. She moved toward, him perplexed by his expression, but he escaped her grasp. Eowyn quickly bid her farewell to Arwen and pursued her betrothed. He slowed but did not turn when she called his name.
“Faramir, please, tell me what troubles you?” She asked. Faramir finally turned, his eyes shining. The pain in his eyes was so horrible Eowyn could not help but wince.
“It is your song, fair Eowyn. It haunts me.” The words were choked with grief.
“Do not blame yourself for Urya’s death, Faramir. It was not your-” Eowyn began.
“I do not,” Faramir half-whispered. “Though your song was meant for Urya, I could only find myself thinking of…” his voice trailed off, and his hands clenched into fists, as if it took all his will not to utter his brother’s name.
Eowyn stood there, unsure of what to say to her betrothed as he suppressed his rising sorrow. He was not like most men she knew. He was quiet, scholarly, and spent most of his free time in the library, reading ancient scrolls. He did not enjoy the outdoors as Aragorn did.
He rarely ever spoke of himself, but was always willing to listen, to comfort. He seemed strong, in both body and will, but preferred to exercise his mind more so than his body and will. Eowyn was not certain if the marriage arrangement between the two would be proper. After all, Eowyn was a huntress; always ready to participate in a strenuous sport. She disliked remaining indoors, she could mostly be found outside, riding with Prince Imrahil or Aragorn.
She was nothing like Faramir, and could not find a way to bond with him. Perhaps Boromir could create a link between the two.
“Will you accompany me to the gardens?” Eowyn asked suddenly. Faramir blinked in surprise.
“Of course, Eowyn.”
The gardens were lovely in the moonlight, and it shone on the bench on which Eowyn and Faramir sat. She took his hand, smiling gently.
“Tell me about Boromir.” The words were gentle, but Faramir still flinched. “Faramir, please. You cannot live with this anymore. You must let him go. For me.”
“He… he was much- like you,” Faramir managed to get out. “He was a warrior, fierce and cold. But I loved him, Eowyn. I loved him more deeply than he ever knew. And I know, that in his heart, he loved me also. But now, now I’ll never…” Faramir rose abruptly, wrenching his hand away from Eowyn’s, putting it to his face.
“Forgive me, my lady. I must go.” Eowyn watched her betrothed flee, and finally understood what was in his heart. She knew what exactly tormented him in his dreams at night. It was a question surrounding the one creature Faramir loved more than life itself. Had Boromir truly loved his brother?
Eowyn watched the figure flee into the night, and prayed that Boromir had.
Meanwhile, Faramir ran through the garden, searching for the place he had always found solitude. He ran, tears threatening to flow, heart bursting with grief. He would not cry, he would not! After all, he was a warrior, and warriors did not cry. He could almost hear his father’s words, telling him only the weak cry.
Not much later, he found his sanctuary. It was a statue, no more than six feet tall, shaped in the image of a noblewoman. Her arms were stretched out, beckoning to Faramir. Gazing up at the woman’s face, he sat down at her feet, trembling. Finally, Faramir could no longer hold back. His resolve fell at the sight of the statue. He drew his knees up to his chest, wrapping his arms about them, and began to weep. He had not consciously cried in years, and had not sobbed so violently ever since he was a boy.
And so, Faramir sat under the image of Finduilas, his fallen mother, body shaking, tears pouring, heart wishing for the only person who could truly bring him joy.
Three days after the funeral, the feast to honor Elladan was held. The funeral guests were invited to stay, which Thranduil, Legolas, Gimli, Eomer, and his wife Lothiriel accepted. Arwen was glad at this, for what Elladan needed was fellowship; the kind of fellowship only Elves could have together. She purposely placed Elladan between Thranduil and Elrohir, with Legolas and herself across from him.
At first, the feast was as solemn as the funeral, for the atmosphere surrounding Elladan was grim. But when Gimli “accidentally” flipped a plate of strawberry pie into the air that barely missed Legolas, laughter echoed through the hall and the merriment began.
Eowyn felt strangely shy, for she sat next to Thranduil, Lord of Mirkwood and Legolas’ father. He was a fine-looking Elf, tall with blue eyes and long blonde hair like his son, but he was a bit more muscular. He lacked the lanky form that was common amongst Elves; his broad chest and large arms gave him an almost Mannish look.
And yet, when he spoke, there was no doubt that he was an Elf. His words were graceful and filled with thoughtfulness, as he made polite dinner conversation with Eowyn and Elladan.
Legolas was the exact opposite of his father, Eowyn soon decided. While Legolas’ physique could be taken for nothing but Elvish, he was impetuous and rash, and quick to make a jest, usually in reference to his diminutive companion, Gimli.
Eowyn glanced over at her fiancé. He had been avoiding her gaze most of the night, and was continuing to do so. She sighed in frustration. Faramir should not be grim on such a night.
Angrily, she thrust her foot atop his. He started and glared at her, his eyes asking for what reason had he deserved such an action. Eowyn merely glared back at him, daring him to speak.
“Excuse me, I hate to interrupt, but I must say, I have never seen such an angry couple so lovingly play with each other’s feet,” Legolas commented, smiling. Thranduil nearly choked on his meat, and both Faramir and Eowyn’s face grew red.
“Legolas! Who taught you your dinner matters?” Thranduil scolded.
“I’m sorry, father, I’m afraid I’ve been around the Dwarf for far too long.”
“No, you had those bad manners long before I met you,” Gimli said in his own defense. Legolas laughed.
“You speak to me of manners? Look at yourself! Is that chicken in your beard?” Gimli glanced down.
“I don’t see it,” he said. The a small strip plopped soundly from Legolas’s fingers.
“Why you, fiendish, disgraceful, malicious-”
Eowyn and Faramir exchanged glances. Those two could argue- or, rather insult each other- forever, and would do so if no one put a stop to it.
“All right, all right,” Faramir said. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Eowyn asked sarcastically.
“Don’t rub it in, love,” Faramir said, taking Eowyn’s hand. She stared at him expectantly. “I apologize for ignoring you.” Eowyn laughed.
“It’s all right, Faramir. It really wasn’t any of my business anyway. And I apologize for trampling your foot.”
“It was a most deserved and enjoyed trample, my lady,” Faramir smiled faintly for a moment, then kissed her lightly on the cheek. His smile grew as she colored a little.
“What?” She asked, still embarrassed.
“Before this night, I thought I had seen your full beauty. But that moment, when your face flushed ever so slightly, it was like the budding of a rose, the moment when it goes beyond beauty and into perfection,” he said softly.
“Thank you,” Eowyn managed to say.
“Elladan, how goes the estate of Rivendell?” Thranduil asked, dabbing his shaven chin daintily with a napkin. It was fascinating to watch Thranduil, for his catlike grace did not match his large body.
“All is well at home,” Elladan answered solemnly. “Though my brother agrees with me that there are more Orcs about than usual.”
“Orcs?” Eowyn interrupted as politely as possible. Elladan nodded.
“The foul beasts from Moria are growing used to the sunlight. At first, they were only seen at night, and there were very few, but their numbers are growing.” Elladan’s voice was weary.
“Do you fear an attack?” Thranduil asked, concerned.
“No. The Orcs are disorganized, always squabbling amongst themselves. And they do not linger long in Rivendell. They leave in boats down the Bruinen, heading towards the sea.”
“If they meant to go to the sea, then why go so far from Moria only to turn around at Rivendell?” Eowyn asked.
“An interesting question that I’m afraid I cannot answer. Who can predict the foolish and evil minds of the Orcs?” Elladan’s voice was bitter.
“Please, let us not worry ourselves with outside troubles,” Elrohir suddenly said, placing a hand on Elladan’s shoulder. He turned to look at Eowyn and Faramir and smiled.
“How long have you been betrothed, might I ask?” Eowyn blushed as she answered.
“For some time now. Almost three years.”
“Three years?” Legolas repeated in disbelief.
“I’m afraid so. We agreed to be wed at the Festival of Light.” Thranduil, Elrohir, Elladan, and Legolas all appreciatively nodded in tandem, making Faramir and Eowyn laugh. The Festival of Light had been created by King Elessar not long after the end of the War of the Ring. It would be celebrated every four years, where the good creatures of Middle Earth were invited to gather at the Pelennor Fields to celebrate the victory over Sauron. Ents of Entwood, Men of Rohan and Gondor, Elves of Rivendell and Mirkwood, Hobbits of the Shire, and Dwarves of the Misty Mountains had all been invited. It was to be the greatest peaceful gathering of creatures that Gondor had ever seen. Though the festival was six months away, preparations had already begun.
“An excellent choice, Faramir!” Legolas said heartily. “It will surely be the most fantastic wedding of the Fourth Age.”
“I look forward to it with much anticipation,” Faramir said, taking Eowyn’s hand. His smile was warm, and Eowyn was glad for he was finally happy.
“As do I,” she replied.
At the gates of Minas Tirith, a knocking came. The knocking came as a knell to all inhabitants of the White City. It came as a lie, a false insurance. It came as a prophecy of doom.
One man knocked at the door. He was tall, but not particularly so, and was dressed in a long ragged cloak, hiding his hair and face.
But nothing could hide his stance. Any man watching him could easily determine that he was a warrior. Perhaps he was a wildman, searching for sanctuary for the night. Perhaps he was a Ranger, returning to his home that he might meet his king.
The gatekeeper did not know which, but it was not his job to know so. It was only his job to see if the man was friend or foe.
And when the stranger revealed his face, the gatekeeper gasped in recognition and allowed the man to pass through.
After dessert had been served, and the guests had eaten to their full, Aragorn signaled for the wine. It was time to toast Elladan.
“Elves, Men, and Dwarf, friends of old and afar, tonight we have gathered to give honor and recognition to the new Lord of Rivendell. We have come together to toast an Elf of great courage and great love. We have come to give comfort and fellowship to our noble friend. But, most important of all, we have gathered together to toast something far greater than ourselves!” Everyone let out cheer, and raised their goblets.
“And so, ladies and gentlemen, a toast: to Lord Elladan, and to the eternal peace of Middle Earth!”
At that very moment, just before anyone could bring the wine to their lips, the outer door of the hall opened, and a man, hidden by his hooded cloak, stepped in.
Every male creatures hands went to their weapons, as did Eowyn’s. Aragorn, his palm resting on Anduril, spoke calmly.
“Step forward, and reveal yourself, stranger, and you shall not be harmed.” There was a small sound, almost a huff of laughter. Faramir froze. He recognized that sound.
“I do not wish for anyone to be hurt.” That voice, though slightly muffled, sounded familiar. Faramir’s heart was pounding. Could it be?
All watched as the man stepped forward, and drew back the hood of his cloak to reveal the comely bearded face of Boromir, son of Denethor and Finduilas, long thought dead.
Faramir’s goblet slipped away from his nerveless fingers and crashed to the ground as his brother’s green eyes settled upon him.
And so began the fall of Gondor.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.