1. Healing in Arda Marred
“What’s wrong with him?” Elrond asked urgently. He shuddered, for he felt the same chill of his twin, and held Elros’s hand. “His pain is worsening!” Elrond did not add that he felt that same pain. Thus far in the War of Wrath, neither Elrond nor Elros had suffered any severe injuries thanks to their excellent military training in their youth. There had been no battle recently, yet they had found Elros wounded and unconscious some distance from camp.
“I don’t know,” Gil-galad said. He frowned, obviously displeased that he could not lead in matters of healing as he did in battle. “The wound was small, and it’s already stopped bleeding. But let us make our way back to camp with all speed.”
They moved with all possible speed, but the going was slow, for Elrond rode with Elros to keep him from falling, and their horse could not move as speedily with two riders. At last, they returned to camp, and Cirdan was called. He examined the closed wound and then shook his head.
“Elros must have been wounded by a Morgul blade,” Cirdan said. “This is beyond any of our skill to heal.”
“Perhaps one of Eonwe’s healers?” Gil-galad suggested.
Cirdan shook his head. “They are wise but new to the malice of the Dark Lord.” Cirdan took a strip of cloth and tied it tightly about Elros’s arm just above the wound. “But do not despair! We must send for Maedhros and Maglor, upon the Isle of Balar. Go to Eonwe. Beg him to send one of the eagles, for without great speed, there is no hope for the son of Earendil.” Though he was King of the Noldor, Gil-galad left at once to do as he was bidden.
“But what can the sons of Feanor do?” Elrond said. It wasn’t that he objected to seeing Maedhros or Maglor. In fact, he spoke up because he did not wish to have them embroiled in this affair. Among the hosts of the Valar were many who still resented them for the Kinslaying at Alqualonde, and among the hosts of Beleriand were those who blamed the sons of Feanor for the Second and Third Kinslayings.
“I do not know,” Cirdan admitted. “But Maglor sang once of Maedhros receiving such a grievous wound, and since Maedhros lived, there must be a cure.” Cirdan ruffled Elrond’s hair. “That’s enough questions from you for now.” Elrond frowned. The Shipwright was fond of Elros and Elrond because they were Earendil’s sons, but Elrond for his part didn’t know Cirdan too well and disliked his habit of openly showing affection.
“I can’t stay and do nothing,” Elrond said. He shivered again. If he didn’t move, he felt he would freeze or fall into a dreadful slumber like his twin.
“Are you all right?” Cirdan’s eyes were soft and grey.
“I’m fine,” Elrond said curtly.
“Very well.” Cirdan looked at Elrond thoughtfully for a moment longer then said, “Do you have the weapon that wounded your brother?”
“I saw no weapon by Elros,” Elrond said.
“Go back to where you found him and search for its hilt,” Cirdan said. “If I remember aright the songs of old, the blade may have dissolved, but not the hilt, and it will be needed if Elros is to be made well again.”
Elrond took a fresh horse out to where Elros had been found. After a frustrating amount of time searching the area, he at last found the hilt. There were some signs of one-on-one combat, but Elros seemed to have emerged victorious, or perhaps the enemy had simply fled. Irrationally pleased with himself for having found what he sought, Elrond decided to collapse where he was.
Elrond awakened to the distinctive harping and singing of Maglor, but when he opened his eyes, it was Maedhros who he beheld.
"You're lucky to be alive, Elrond," Maedhros said. His face was stern and critical, but his voice betrayed his relief.
"Elros?" Elrond struggled to sit up but found that he utterly lacked the strength. "What of my brother?"
"He passed into the wraith world, but we have brought him back," Maedhros said. “Or rather, you brought him back. He was stabbed by a Morgul knife, one of the foul works of Sauron the Necromancer, chief captain of Morgoth. If your spirits were not joined, we would’ve lost him to the Dark Lord.”
“How did you do it?”
“Constriction band, sucking out the poison, cutting his wound open to the core, drawing out the knife tip, scraping the rotten and marred tissue from his very bone--the sound that that made was most horrible to listen to,” Maglor said pleasantly. “Then forcing him to throw up so that there was nothing in him, giving him only the clear water of Ulmo to drink for days before eventually allowing him to take in some weak soup, though he begged us for solid food, especially red meat--"
“That’s enough, Maglor,” Maedhros said sharply.
“Why? I think it a fascinating tale to be told, perhaps even worthy of song,” Maglor said loftily. “Who would have imagined that the sons of Feanor could heal? Heal! For are they not Kinslayers?” Elrond watched in horror as his foster father changed with every word. “Ah, and only a son of Feanor would be so cruel as to ruthlessly cut into his foster son’s flesh, never mind that the boy was heavily medicated with poppy juice and that he would die without such ministrations. But then, only in Arda Marred would healing come at such a great price. A pity we do not live in the Blessed Realms, where healing can be done by rest under the trees alone.”
Maedhros looked as if he were about to strike his brother to silence him but then, with some effort, restrained himself and instead sang: “Tinco, parma, calma, quesse; ando, umbar, anga, ungwe. Thule, formen; harma, hwesta; anto, ampa; anca, unque.”
Maglor’s harp had picked up on the tune, and he had joined Maedhros at “harma,” only he had sung it as “aha.” Maedhros had pretended not to notice and had continued the song. It was at “noldo” that Maedhros stopped singing and allowed Maglor to wholly take over the song. When he finished the alphabet, Maglor stopped his harping and began to sing a wordless song, powerful yet subtle, great and sorrowful.
“What is he singing now?” Elrond asked. He could not help but to be concerned for his foster father.
Maedhros shrugged. “I don’t know. Don’t worry. His mood will pass.”
“He is singing of the speckling of the stars in the skies. It is an ancient song of Cuivienen, from the time before language was spoken among our people, though how he should know it, I do not know.” Elrond turned his head to see Cirdan standing by the door. Beside him was Elros, who was being carried like a babe by Gil-galad.
Elros smiled wanly at his twin. “Elrond. I see that you are, indeed, alive. I hear I almost killed you.”
“It’s of no matter. You are my brother,” Elrond said. He rejoiced as Gil-galad set Elros beside him in bed.
“As if that makes it okay.” Elros embraced Elrond.
“At last we see the great knowledge possessed by those who have fought the Dark Lord since before the rising of the Moon and the Sun,” said Gil-galad to Maedhros. “Do not return to Balar, I implore you. Stay and fight in this War of Wrath.”
“If Eonwe will permit it of me, then I will gladly do so,” Maedhros said.
“He will, for if not for you, the star would not come.” And though Cirdan spoke to Maedhros, his eyes were fixed on Maglor.
Elrond sighed as he recalled his shared pain with Elros. At that very moment, Elrond at last found the splinter that haunted Frodo’s healing. He removed it and dressed Frodo’s wound, yet Elrond knew that the wound would never be wholly healed, not in Arda Marred.
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.