Title: "Green Stone"

Author: Darkover

Word Count: 763

Disclaimer: The characters of "The Lord of the Rings" were created not by me, but by J.R.R. Tolkien. I would never pretend otherwise, so please do not sue me.

Rating: K+

Characters: Ioreth and her cousin, with references to Aragorn and Faramir

Summary: Ioreth tells her cousin of the new King and his wondrous green stone.


Such a day as I've had, cousin, I couldn't begin to tell you. So many wounded folk brought in to us at the Houses, many of them important ones, too. Yes, of course, they're *all* important, I know that, but some were folk we had a special responsibility for. One of them was a Periannath, a prince from the land of the Halflings, although what such a one was doing dressed in the livery of Rohan, I couldn't say. He was brought in with a *woman,* a shieldmaiden from the same land, who dressed herself as a man and together with the Halfling, killed the Witch-king himself, or so it is said. I know it seems strange, cousin, but if you've seen the sort of things I've seen over the past day. . . so many Rohirrim about, including the new King of their land, if you can believe it. . . and Dunedain Rangers, as well as the Wizard, and of course, our own Steward, poor young man—

What? Well, of course Lord Denethor isn't a young man! I was referring to our own Lord Faramir, may the Valar bless and keep him. He is the Steward now, or will be when he recovers. So badly wounded, poor lad, that his father went mad with grief, at least that is what my neighbor heard from her best friend, who was told by her daughter, who is the wife of one of the guards of the Citadel who was there at the time. Lord Denethor did himself in, or so they say, and tried to take Lord Faramir with him. Not that I believe it, myself. Lord Boromir, may the Valar rest him, was always Lord Denethor's favorite, but he loved Lord Faramir, too. To credit a tale that he would burn his younger son alive—

Well, I *am* getting to the point, cousin, if you would just stop interrupting! Lord Faramir was brought to the Houses of Healing, suffering from a wound, unconscious after being attacked by the Witch-King, or so that was what I heard. Apparently the Witch-King afflicted our Lord Faramir with some evil spell. When he was brought in, he was breathing his last—

No, of course he is not dead! Isn't that what I've been telling you? That was the most astonishing thing of all! The healers could do nothing for Lord Faramir; even the Master of the Houses was at a loss. That was when I said, "Would that there were kings in Gondor, as there were once upon a time, they say! For it is said in the old lore: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer. And so the rightful king could ever be known." And Mithrandir said, "Men may long remember your words, Ioreth—"

Yes, all right, cousin, no need to shout, I was just getting to that! The one with the green stone. That's how you can tell who he is, for he is as shabby as any other Ranger, with nothing but a grey cloak over his mail, and that green elfstone at his throat. It draws the eye, that flash of green. Our Lord Elfstone is rather taller than most, and fair enough in his own way, I suppose, although I always thought a king would be more handsome. But that doesn't matter, as long as he is able to heal folk, especially our good Lord Faramir, as I said.

For the Ranger with the green stone took some kingsfoil, and breathed on it, crushed it, and cast them into bowls of steaming hot water. Everyone about smelled it, and was refreshed, cousin, especially the sick. Lord Elfstone held our Lord Faramir's hand and called to him for the longest time, until finally Lord Faramir opened his eyes. He smiled right at the lord with the green stone, and said; "My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?" Our Lord Faramir knew the king right away, I'm telling you, cousin. But then, Lord Faramir always did see his way into Men's hearts, or so they say.

Really, a body can't hear herself think, much less speak, with everyone shouting—oh! Look, cousin, there he is, riding in front, the tall man with the green stone at his breast! Doesn't it seem to flash in the sunlight? So green, it seems to be alive! It must be an elf stone for certain! Mark my words, there is something special about a stone like that, and about the man who wears it!

Hurrah for Lord Elfstone! Our new king!