She stood on a high cliff, peering out over the ocean. She could feel the evil all around her, seeming to roll in with the fog. The fog swirled in slow motion as it moved in front of her. She was sure her eyes were playing tricks on her as she could almost make out shapes forming. But as they would start to come into focus, the fog would become almost as smooth as glass. She knew it was evil incarnate that had come back to her world. She knew the world had spent many centuries in peace, even after the elves had left. The elves had been gone a long time. So long that this world had all but forgotten them. She knew she was the last being to remember them. Thinking on them, as she often did, she could hear their song, hear their laughter and stories, and feel their presence. She could feel his presence. How she missed him all these years. In the short period of time she had spent with him, she realized many times over that it was the only time she felt whole. How she wished to hear him call her name, to feel him standing beside her. How she wished to feel safe again. As the fog started to engulf her a voice called out to her, seemingly coming from the sea.
“Your cry does not go unnoticed, Aliana. It will be answered,” Legolas’ voice rang in her head.
Aliana shot straight up in bed. As she looked straight into the face of the elf prince, she was sure she was still dreaming and that the scene had changed. But as she glanced to her side and saw Gandalf seated next to her, she knew that she was dreaming no more. “How good it is to see you awake,” Gandalf said with a smile. He rose from his seat and said, “I will fetch Aragorn. He will also be relieved to see you.” Gandalf parted from the room and left the two alone.
Legolas reached down and took her small hand into his own. He brought it up to his face and held it there, relief washing through him. Aliana took her other hand and brought it to his other cheek. “I am so sorry, my lord. I should have trusted you with my vision of my brother’s death. I just didn’t want you to look at me differently.”
“How could I ever look at you differently? Aliana, there is nothing you could do that would change how I feel for you.”
She thought for a moment before finding the courage to put her question into words. “And how do you feel for me?”
Just as he started to answer her, Aragorn burst thru the door with Gandalf behind him. Legolas moved quickly, giving Aragorn Aliana’s full attention. Aragorn sat down next to her and pulled her into his arms. “I thought I had lost you”, he whispered in her ear, tears now streaming down his face. After a moment he held her away from him so he could look into her face. “I will never be able to show you my gratitude for the sacrifice you were willing to make for me. I am very blessed to be able to call you my sister.”
Tears now welled up in her eyes. She had not given any thought to herself. All she knew was that Middle Earth would be lost if Aragorn had perished. Sitting there now with her brother in front of her, she knew at that moment that she had served her Destiny.
Aragorn stood and went to the window, looking down on the courtyard. It was full of people, each one carrying out his or her task that had been laid on them. “We leave for Rohan in the morning. Will you be ready to travel, Aliana?”
“Yes, I will be ready. I must have slept for a long time, for I feel strangely rejuvenated.” She hadn’t realized just how good she felt since she had woken. Her wound must not have been as bad as she had initially thought. Aliana reached down and pulled up the clean undershirt to take a look. She saw a gash about five inches long, but it was almost totally closed. As she was staring at it, she thought she could see a soft blue light emanating from it, but she quickly dismissed it as her eyes playing tricks on her. Aragorn and Legolas looked to each other, and then both looked to Gandalf, who was still standing by the fire. The wizard returned each of their looks then looked down on Aliana, smiling.
“I’m sure the lady would like some more time to rest before the long ride tomorrow. And I’m sure we all have things to take care of. We can spend some time with her at dinner.” Gandalf walked to Aliana’s side and grabbed her hand. “My dear, it is a relief to see you recovering. I will check on you later.”
“Thank you, Mithrandir”, she replied as he turned and made his way out of the room.
Aragorn took Gandalf’s place next to her. He leaned down and hugged her. As he stood up he told her, “rest well and I will bring you nourishment when it is ready.”
“Thank you, my brother. You are too good to me.”
He smiled at her and strode to the doorway. He looked at Legolas. “I will meet you in the stables shortly.” Legolas nodded to his friend then Aragorn left the room, again leaving the two alone.
“You will also be back soon?” she asked the elf prince, not wanting him to leave.
“I will come back as soon as I can. Mithrandir is right, you need to rest. Would you permit me to escort you on the trip tomorrow, my lady?”
Her heart skipped a beat at the offer. How she wanted to tell him that she wanted him to escort her every moment of every day. She settled with “My lord, I would like that very much.” Legolas reached down and again grabbed her hand, kissing her fingers. “I leave you for now but I will be back soon.”
Reluctantly he forced himself to leave the room.
Aliana was left alone with her thoughts. She found herself thinking back on the events of the night before. She felt guilty about hiding her identity from those that she loved, but she knew it had been imperative that she be present. And Gandalf had told her to trust her visions. She had clearly served her destiny the moment she saved her brother’s life. “Your path is done here, you are not needed anymore”, her little voice told her. She supposed it was right. The more she thought about it, the more she felt that she would be a hindrance if she stayed with the fellowship. But how could she leave her family? The fellowship had become more of a family to her than she had ever known. As her thoughts once again started to think of Legolas, her little voice called out to her. “You foolish girl. He will never be with you. You are a mere mortal, and he is one of the Firstborn. Why do you torture yourself so?” The voice in her head was so loud that she looked around the room expecting to see someone standing there. But it was right. She was only fooling herself if she thought that they could be together. Not only was he of the Firstborn, but also a prince. It could never be. She made up her mind that from Rohan, she would leave the party. She wasn’t sure where she would go, but that decision she decided would come soon enough.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.