Lady From Beyond the Sea – Chapter 19 – Dae Kular
Zandra: a.k.a. `An’ra, She has water power, which includes weather power. She is slowly regaining her memory of who and what she is.
Tinania: a.k.a. `Nania Zandra’s eldest sister, she became something (we don’t know what yet) and went away. She has fire power.
Jaessa: a.k.a. `Dessa Zandra’s other sister, described as sweet, and calm. She has earth power, which includes plants.
Zandra’s Mother: associated with stars
Zandra’s Father: associated with shadows
Dyryn: Zandra once thought she loved him, but he tricked her and imprisoned her in Dol Guldur He had a ring, and became a wraith.
Gallin: Boy from Rohan, a friend of Zandra’s, died at Helm’s Deep
Legolas paced the hallway outside a small room deep within the Hornburg. Zandra had not yet wakened, and Gandalf was attending her. His expression had been grim as he entered the room and sent Legolas out of it, over the Elf’s vociferous protests.
He whirled around as a click alerted him that the door was opening. He turned back, his eyes questioning the wizard.
“She’s fine. Merely exhausted, she will sleep for some time if allowed.” He raised one eyebrow at the Elf, who nodded his acquiescence. “I will come to wake her when all are ready to leave for Isengard.”
“But, should she come?” Legolas asked, worried, “surely she should sleep as long as possible.”
The wizard laughed, “I don’t think she would be best pleased to be left out of this, but she should sleep undisturbed until all is ready.” He chuckled and relented at the dismayed expression on Legolas’s face, “You may sit with her, but do not wake her until I come.”
Legolas nodded and walked quietly into the room, and sat on a chair that had been pulled up by the bed. He looked down at the face that had become so dear to him. Her expression in sleep was softer than he had ever seen it, and he realized that even when she laughed she never lost that haunted look, the look of fear.
“Oh Zandra,” he murmured, “What can I do, what can I say to chase away your fear?” She stirred a little at the sound of his voice, her eye lashed fluttering, though her eyes did not open. Her lips moved, but even with his elven hearing he could not make out what she said. He leaned closer to hear better.
“ Anera, . . . mi dae kular, . . . es mi ni kul, . . . kto dyel . . .“
He blinked in confusion, this was like no language he had ever heard. Was this the tongue of her people? Perhaps Gandalf knew the language. His attention was drawn back as she spoke again, this time the words were clearer, and her distress written plain on her face.
“ Gallin zholti. Nyet, on ni zholti, nyet. Rriad ya, ya ni on.“
Legolas’s concern grew, as she began to toss and turn, he longed to take her into his arms, and comfort her, but she was supposed to sleep. But sleep like this will not refresh her at all, he thought, and moved to gather her into his arms, but before he could move she stilled, her body relaxed.
“Dae Kular o bolnoi. Dae Kular o lubov. Dae Kular o zakaz . . .” her voice took on a tone as if she were reciting something, and drifted off near the end. Then it rose again, taking on a proud tone, “Ya Dae Kular, ya kul dliah bolnoi. Eto podarok. Eto bolshoi zakaz Eto tozhe seriozhni. . .” She stopped, and grew distressed again, “Anera, ya ne dyellel eta, ya ne ya ne,” her voice rose on a loud sob, and she sat up. Immediately Legolas grabbed her, moving to sit on the bed. He rocked her back and forth, uttering soothing phrases, nonsense phrases, anything to comfort her.
Eventually she grew quiet again, breathing slowly but deeply, and he could tell she was again deeply asleep, but he made no move to lay her back down, instead he savored the moment, not knowing when she would allow him to hold her again.
“I will win your heart,” he whispered, “You will allow me to take care of you, and make sure you never fear again.”
Much too soon for Legolas the door opened with a soft click, and Gandalf entered, raising one bushy eyebrow at the scene before him and chuckling. “I thought I said not to disturb her.”
“I think it is rather the other way. She disturbed me.” Legolas said lightly, though he knew Gandalf would sense the seriousness underlying his comment.
“What happened?” He asked, concerned.
“I think she had some disturbing dreams, she was talking, though in a language that I have never heard before.” He paused, “Have you ever heard of Dae Kular?“
“No,” the wizard appeared thoughtful, “Will the mystery of her never cease to grow?” He shook his head, “Well, wake her, and lets see if she can tell us anything.” Legolas nodded.
“Zandra,” he said softly, brushing her hair from her face, “Zandra wake up.” She stirred, blinking sleepily. Then her eyes widened, and she looked about, obviously confused about her surroundings. Legolas sighed, as the haunted, guarded look returned to lurk at the back of her gaze.
“Shto ti dyelaiesh zdess, Legolas, Gandalf? I gde zdess?” The words came very easily from her lips. She sat up pulling away from him. He let her go reluctantly, and stood, putting some distance between them, lest he pull her back to him.
“What are you two staring at?” she said, reverting back to the Common Tongue. Legolas blinked, wasn’t she aware that she had been talking in a different language?
“Zandra,” Gandalf said, his gaze intent on the newly awakened lady, “What did you say first when you woke up?”
Confusion filled her gaze, “Why, I asked what you were doing here, and where here was. Why?” Then she thought for a moment, “Wait, that’s not what I said, . . . is it?”
“No, you spoke in a different language. Can you remember the words you said?” Legolas asked intently. If she could remember, perhaps another piece of the puzzle could be solved.
Zandra put her hands to her face. “No,” despair filled her voice, “No, I can’t. Wait, . . .” wonder dispelled the despair, “ . . . Shto ti dyellaiesh zdess. What are you doing here?” Tears filled her eyes, “That language, it has to be the language of my people!”
Legolas’s heart burned at the joy in her voice, if only that fear would leave as well.
“Perhaps, Zandra, can you remember anything else of that language?” Gandalf said. Zandra closed her eyes in concentration.
“While you were asleep you spoke in that language, and it sounded as if you were reciting something to do with Dae Kular.” Legolas’s voice was encouraging.
“Dae Kular?” her voice was a whisper, “ya . . . Dae Kular. Ya Dae Kular. Es ya ni kul, kto dyel.” There was a moment of silence.
What is it? Legolas thought, as the silence stretched on, What could those words mean that would be so distressing?
“Dae Kular,” Zandra’s voice was soft, and thick with tears, “Kular is warrior, and Dae means light. K chyortu!” the last exclamation came out thick with frustration, “I thought sure that understanding the words would tell me who I am.”
“Light warrior?” Gandalf repeated thoughtfully, “And you say you are Dae Kular.“
Zandra nodded and raised her head, “I am a warrior, and I must fight. That is what that means, `I am Dae Kular, if I don’t fight, who will?'”
Gandalf laid a soothing hand on her head, “It is a step my friend. And now we must leave, that is why we woke you, we are going to Isengard, and I thought you would not wish to be left behind.”
“Of course!” Zandra said, nearly leaping off the bed, and then she swayed on her feet. Legolas and Gandalf both reached out to steady her.
“Carefully my friend,” Gandalf advised, “You are still quite exhausted. Which brings me to another question,” he added as they left the room, “Whatever were you thinking to use that much power? You know that now Sauron knows precisely where you are? He could not fail to after that. You yourself told me how much power it takes to control the weather.”
“Yes, I know.” her voice was very serious, “I refused to change the weather on Caradhras because we had to keep notice away from the Ringbearer, . . .”her voice stumbled, and Legolas knew she was feeling guilty about not staying with Frodo again, “But now, drawing attention here can only distract him from Frodo.”
“And bring it to you, who he must still want. I am certain that he is not happy that you escaped him, whatever reason he imprisoned you.” Legolas shivered, he had not thought of that before, Sauron would want Zandra back in his clutches.
“I am aware of that, and I knew that when I acted, but I decided that it was worth the risk.” Her voice was calm, but Legolas could see the fear in her gaze intensified, and though it increased his concern for her, it also increased his love.
I know few people as brave as her, he thought, She is very afraid, but she stands firm despite that. She is incredible.
Zandra patted Serilla’s neck sadly, her thoughts were on the boy that had been her friend. Though she had not talked about it, it had not taken her long to remember what had happened before she had collapsed. She squeezed her eyes shut against the pain. He should have had his whole life before him still, but instead he was dead, ruthlessly slaughtered by some of the foulest creatures in existence. I should have protected him. she thought, I should have been by his side instead of trying to act the hero with all of my weather control.
She knew in her heart that there was nothing she could have done, but it still hurt. Caring hurts too much. she thought bitterly, There is too much pain involved in caring. No more. Her gaze was drawn to Legolas, who was riding with Gimli before him, and gazing around at the trees that had seemingly appeared in the night. He is too good for me. He should hate me for refusing his love in that way. I hate myself. But it would be even worse if I should allow myself to believe I was in love with him, and then discover again I was wrong. She sighed sadly, If only my heart would stop pounding whenever he is near.”
At last the company passed through the trees, and found that they had come to the bottom of the Coomb, where the road from Helm’s Deep branched, going one way east to Edoras, and the other north to the Fords of Isen. As they rode from under the eaves of the wood, Legolas halted and looked back with regret. Then he gave a sudden cry.
“There are eyes!” he said. “Eyes looking out from the shadows of the boughs! I never saw such eyes before.”
Zandra turned, sudden panic slicing through her breast, stopped and turned, but could see nothing. She looked about at the others had also halted and turned; but Legolas had started to ride back.
“No, no!” cried Gimli. “Do as you please in your madness, but let me first get down from this horse! I wish to see no eyes!” Zandra heartily concurred, but her panic had faded. Silly girl! You would be able to tell if Dyryn was near. She knew that eventually he would attempt to take her back to Sauron. And Gandalf seemed to think so too, though of course she had not yet told him about her experience with the Ringwraith.
“Stay, Legolas Greenleaf!” said Gandalf. “Do not go back into the wood, not yet! Now its not your time.”
Even as he spoke, there came forward out of the trees three strange shapes. As tall as trolls they were, twelve feet or more in height; their strong bodies, stout as young trees, seemed to be clad with raiment or with hide of close fitting grey and brown. Their limbs were long, and their hands had many fingers; their hair was stiff, and their beards grey-green as moss. They gazed out with solemn eyes, eyes that reminded Zandra sharply of her sister, Jaessa. These must be the Ents that Aragorn, and Legolas were talking about, she thought. They were not looking at the riders: their eyes were bent northwards. Suddenly they lifted their long hands to their mouths, and sent forth ringing calls, clear as notes of a horn, but more musical and various. The calls were answered; and turning again, the riders saw other creatures of the same kind approaching, striding through the grass. The riders cried aloud in wonder, and some set their hands upon their sword-hilts.
“You need no weapons,” said Gandalf. “These are but herdsmen. They are not enemies, indeed they are not concerned with us at all.”
So it seemed to be; for as he spoke the tall creatures, without a glance at the riders, strode into the wood and vanished.
“Herdsmen!” said Theoden. “Where are their flocks? What are they Gandalf? For it is plain that to you, at any rate, they are not strange.”
“They are the shepherds of the trees,” answered Gandalf. “Is it so long since you listened to tales by the fireside? There are children in your land who, out of the twisted threads of story, could pick the answer to your question. You have seen Ents, O King, Ents out of Fangorn Forest, which in your tongue you call the Entwood.”
The king was silent. “Ents!” he said at length. “Out of the shadows of legend I begin a little to understand the marvel of the trees, I think. I have lived to see strange days. Songs we have that tell of these things, but we are forgetting them, teaching them only to children, as a careless custom. And now the songs have come down among us out of strange places, and walk visible under the Sun.”
“You should be glad, Theoden King,” said Gandalf. “For not only the little life of Men is now endangered, but the life also of those things which you have deemed the matter of legend. You are not without allies, even if you know them not.”
“Yet also I should be sad,” said Theoden. “For however the fortune of war shall go, may it not so end that much that was fair and wonderful shall pass for ever out of Middle-earth?”
Very true, Zandra thought pensively. So it always is with war. It is inevitable. War is pain. How could I choose to be a warrior? Surely there was some other choice for me to make? I abhor this evil, this thing that destroys children and old alike, with the very fibre of my being. And yet I am Dae Kular. There has to be more meaning to Dae Kular than the literal one. Why can’t I remember it?
“It may,” said Gandalf. “The evil of Sauron cannot be wholly cured, nor made as if it had not been. But to such days we are doomed. Let us now go on with the journey we have begun!”
Galadriel’s words of parting at Lothlorien came again into Zandra’s mind. “The path that you shall tread us already laid before your feet, . . .” Was that part of the answer to Dae Kular?
Anera, . . . mi dae kular, . . . es mi ni kul, . . . kto dyel? – “Mother, we are Dae Kular, if we don’t fight, who will?”
Gallin zholti. Nyet, on ni zholti, nyet. Rriad ya, ya ni on. – “Gallin is dead. No he can’t be dead, no. Take me, me not him.”
Dae Kular o bolnoi. Dae Kular o lubov. Dae Kular o zakaz – “Dae Kular is about people. Dae Kular is about love. Dae Kular is about responsibility.”
Ya Dae Kular, ya kul dliah bolnoi. Eto podarok. Eto bolshoi zakaz Eto tozhe seriozhni – “I am Dae Kular, I fight for people. It is difficult. It is a big responsibility. It is also painful.”
Anera, ya ne dyellel eta, ya ne ya ne – “Mother, I can’t do this, I can’t, I can’t.”