13. Chapter 12
"Take heart now warrior, for that is what you are. Much peril lies before this land. Your bow, your mind and your ineffable light of love will be required in their fullest form. If the Quest is to be successful, you must play your part here. You must protect this land and your Lady though I feel it shall be a great and loathsome task; most importantly, Ethuiel you must never again allow the light in your eyes and your grace to go dim. Until your last breath leaves you, you must safeguard that; for that is what we are all fighting for in the end." He kissed her forehead and she walked with him to the boarders of the wood.
Before they had said their farewells, Ethuiel pulled from her pack a small envelope addressed to Legolas. “I knew that you would be seeking him." she said. “Should you find him, whatever his state, please give him this that he should not carry his own love without mine for company." Gandalf smiled and took the letter. He placed it in his robe and was off.
Gandalf had been correct in his predictions. Lórien was indeed in great peril. Thrice did the Nazgûl with their monstrous hordes attack the Golden Wood in the following days. The battles were fierce and bloody, but in the end the Galadrim repelled the assaults and the Wood and the Lady were kept safe.
When Gandalf had at last found the three in Fangorn, he gave the envelope to Legolas and said, “I was bidden to give you this so that you might be--heartened." He chuckled at his own pun. Legolas returned a sheepishly perplexed grin as he took the correspondence from his hand.
He sat upon a rock and carefully and examined the silver script on the envelope. He had no doubt as to who had sent it, but feared to open it all the same. He looked up at his companions who had followed him. Gandalf smiled and nodded for him to open it. Carefully he slid his dagger beneath the sealing wax and broke it. When he reached in, he found a small piece of parchment, yellowed and cracking with extreme age. Upon it were the faded, little drawings and doodles of a child. In the middle of the birds and stars and rainbows that were there, in the hand of a child was written, “Ethuiel melethan Legolas".
In that moment of ecstasy, the strength of one hundred Elves entered the body of Legolas Greenleaf, and from that moment until the end of that horrendous War, that strength never left him. He fought with a grace and stamina not seen in any since the fall of valiant Ecthelion. Legolas the Elf had fought for the Free Peoples of Middle Earth. He had fought for life and truth; he had fought for beauty, wisdom and joy. Now there was yet another reason for him to carry on the battle with yet more strident resolve; one that was more to him than all of the others. Legolas Greenleaf now fought to free his hands from the instruments of war forever. Every dart he nocked thereafter was set with the knowledge that if his aim was true, the Archer of Gondolin would lay aside her bow, and give her hands into his.
“Ethuiel melethan Legolas" - "Ethuiel loves Legolas"
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