These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.

A light from the shadows shall spring

With thanks to Deandra

A story to for March 15th to celebrate Aragorn healing Faramir

Weary and heart sore, I sought my rest, as the sun slowly sank over the western horizon. The day had been won, but at a heavy price. Halbarad, my kinsman dear to me as a brother, had fallen on the battlefield. So too had Théoden King and many other brave men. We may have beaten Sauron today, but unless the Ringbearer succeeds, our victory will be futile.

Then if by some miracle we win this war, will the crown of Gondor and Arwen's hand in marriage ever be mine? Denethor hates me almost as much as he hates the Dark Lord himself. The death of Boromir in my company will make him like me even less.

Gandalf interrupted my melancholy thoughts with the news that Denethor is dead, slain, alas, by his own hand. He perished by fire, trying to take his sole surviving child with him. Faramir was snatched from the pyre, but wounded and racked by fever. The healers believe it is likely he will soon follow his father and brother beyond the circles of the world.

The Wizard quotes the old saying to me concerning the hands of the king being the hands of a healer. Well, I am a healer of some skill, but I am no king! Can my hands truly hold power over the Black Breath? I can only try.

Wearily, I follow Gandalf to the Houses of Healing. It would be a strange chance indeed, if I proved my lineage by healing the one man left between the throne and me!

Gandalf leads me to where Faramir lies. I study the face of the late Steward's younger son. He is clearly dying. It does not even take a healer to discern that. I quickly examine him. His wound is neither severe nor poisoned. The Black Breath, caused by Sauron's dark magic, is the cause of Faramir's malady. The young man has a powerful air of Númenor about him. I sense great strength and goodness in his heart, overshadowed by sorrow at his brother's death and father's mood.

What manner of father tries to destroy the very life he gave to his child? Can I restore to Faramir that which his sire would have taken? Had I such a son, I would love and cherish him. The shadow is growing ever stronger within him, threatening to overwhelm Faramir's noble heart. Sauron is trying to claim this man's life and with him the very soul of Gondor. I take Faramir's hand and prepare to battle with the darkness that engulfs him.

The shadows now assail me, trying to snatch Faramir from my grasp. The Dark Lord shall not have this son ofWesternsee. I claim him as mine own! Should I prevail, I will have need of him in my kingdom. Yet, have I the strength to save him? Without athelas I cannot reclaim Faramir from Sauron's grasp. I can only walk beside him in the dark vale in which he wanders and strive to keep him from falling. But for how long?

At last! A boy enters with the precious herb and I prepare it. The scent cuts through the darkness like a sword cuts through cloth. At once I feel refreshed.

Faramir slowly opens his eyes and looks at me. I expected his father's eyes, but his are nothing like Denethor's, save only in their colour. These eyes are warm, trusting and filled with love. "My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?" he says softly.

I smile at him; an equal love kindled in mine own heart. He calls me king! Today I have learned the power of the king lies with me. Maybe my heart's desire will be granted. I may yet hope for the crown and Arwen's hand in marriage. This man is no rival, but a friend!

A/N I could not let today pass without yet again revisiting my favourite scene in LOTR. Some of the words are Tolkien's.

I have written about these events before in "First Meeting", "The One" and "Comes the Moment to Decide" as well as several drabbles in my "Further Impressions" collection.

I highly recommend Raksha's "The Falcon and the Star" as essential reading for today.

"Mask of Virtue" continues on this site.