Lady From Beyond the Sea – Chapter 22 – Palantir
Zandra: She has water power, which includes weather power. She is slowly regaining her memory of who and what she is. She is Dae Kular, which literally means “light warrior,” but she thinks it is something more.
Tinania: Zandra’s eldest sister, she became something (we don’t know what yet) and went away. She has fire power.
Jaessa: 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
“No Saruman,” Gandalf said as his chuckles died away, “I don’t think I will destroy her. Nor will she come up to you. But listen, Saruman, for the last time! Will you not come down? Isengard has proved less strong than your hope an fancy made it. So may other things in which you still have trust. Would it not be well to leave it for a while? To turn to new things perhaps?”
Was Gandalf mad? Legolas wondered, Saruman had just told him to destroy Zandra, had claimed that was his intention, and he wanted to let Saruman go?
“Reasons for leaving you can see from your windows,” Gandalf continued. “Others will occur to your thought. Your servants are destroyed and scattered; your neighbors you have made your enemies; and you have cheated your new master, or tried to do so. When his eye turns hither, it will be the eye of wrath. But when I say “free,” I mean “free”: free from bond, of chain or command: to go where you will, even, even to Mordor, Saruman if you desire. But first you will surrender to me the Key of Orthanc, and your staff. They shall be pledges of your conduct, to be returned later, if you merit them.”
I shouldn’t have doubted. Legolas thought, Of course Gandalf wouldn’t risk Zandra’s safety like that.
Saruman’s face grew livid, twisted with rage, and a red light was kindled in his eyes. He laughed wildly. “Later!” he cried, and his voice rose to a scream. “Later! Yes, when you also have the Keys of Barad-dur itself, I suppose; and the crowns of seven kings, and the rods of the Five Wizards. A modest plan. Hardly one for which my help is needed! I have other things to do. Do not be a fool! If you wish to treat with me while you have a chance, go away, and come back when you are sober. And leave behind that Witch, and these cutthroats and small ragtag that dangle at your tail! Good day!” He turned and left the balcony.
“Come back, Saruman!” said Gandalf in a commanding voice. To Legolas’s amazement, Saruman turned again, and as if dragged against his will, he came slowly back to the iron rail, leaning on it, breathing hard. His face was lined and shrunken. His hand clutched his black staff like a claw.
“I did not give you leave to go,” said Gandalf sternly. “I have not finished. You have become a fool, Saruman, and yet pitiable. You might still have turned away from folly and evil, and have been of service. But you choose to stay and gnaw the ends of your old plots. Stay then! But I warn you, you will not easily come out again. Not unless the dark hands of the East stretch out to take you. Saruman!” he cried, and his voice grew in power and authority. “Behold, I am not Gandalf the Grey, whom you betrayed. I am Gandalf the White, who has returned form death. You have no color now, and I cast you from the order and from the Council.”
He raised his hand, and spoke slowly in a clear cold voice, “Saruman, your staff is broken.” There was a crack, and the staff split asunder in Saruman’s hand, and the head of it fell down at Gandalf’s feet. “Go!” said Gandalf. With a cry Saruman fell back and crawled away. At that moment a heavy shining thing came hurtling down from above. It glanced off the iron rail, even as Saruman left it, and passing close to Gandalf’s head, it smote the stair on which he stood. The rail rang and snapped. The stair cracked and splintered in glittering sparks. But the ball was unharmed: it rolled on down the steps, a globe of crystal, dark, but glowing with a heart of fire. Zandra gave a strangled cry of fear and turned to bury her face in Legolas’s chest. His arms went around her.
“Zandra what’s wrong?” he asked soothingly. She did not reply but gripped his tunic tighter. Legolas looked in confusion down to where Pippin was slowly coming up the steps, carrying the ball, slowly, as if he were bearing a great weight.
“Here my lad, I’ll take that! I did not ask you to handle it,” Gandalf said. He went down to meet the hobbit and hastily took the dark globe from him, wrapping it in the folds of his cloak. “I will take care of this,” he said, “It is not a thing, I guess, that Saruman would have chosen to cast away.”
As soon as Gandalf had hidden the ball Zandra relaxed and raised her head. “I’m sorry,” she whispered brokenly. Legolas could tell that she did not wish to explain, not right now, so he smiled.
“No need to apologize. I enjoy having you here.” She blushed at his tone, and pulled out of his arms, but she did not try to warn him against love again, he took heart from that.
They returned now to the ruins of the gate. Hardly had they passed out under the arch, when, from among the shadows of the piled stones where they had stood, Treebeard and a dozen other Ents came striding up. Aragorn, Zandra, Gimli and Legolas gazed at them in wonder.
“Here are four of my companions, Treebeard,” said Gandalf. “I have spoken of them, but you have not yet seen them” He named them one by one.
The Old Ent looked at them long and searchingly and then spoke to Legolas. “So you have come all the way from Mirkwood, my good Elf? A very great forest it used to be!”
“And still is,” said Legolas, much gratified, “But not so great that we who dwell there ever tire of seeing new trees. I should dearly love to journey in Fangorn’s Wood. I scarcely passed beyond the eaves of it, and I did not wish to turn back.”
Treebeard’s eyes gleamed with pleasure. “I hope you may have your wish, ere the hills be much older,” he said.
“I will come, if I have the fortune,” said Legolas. “I have made a bargain with my friend that, if all goes well, we will visit Fangorn together – by your leave.”
“Any Elf that comes’ with you will be welcome,” said Treebeard.
“The friend I speak of is not an Elf,” said Legolas; “I mean Gimli, Gloin’s son here.” Gimli bowed low, and the axe slipped from his belt and clattered on the ground, causing Legolas to wince.
“Hoom, hmm! Ah now,” said Treebeard, looking dark-eyed at him. “A dwarf and an axe-bearer! Hoom! I have good will to Elves, but you ask much. This is a strange friendship!”
“Strange it may seem,” said Legolas, “but while Gimli lives I shall not come to Fangorn alone. His axe is not for trees, but for orc-necks, O Fangorn, Master of Fangorn’s Wood. Forty-two he hewed int eh battle.”
“Hoo! Come now!” said Treebeard. “That is a better story! Well, well, things will go as they will, and there is no need to hurry to meet them. Now Zandra! Gandalf has told me of your search. I am sorry to say that I know nothing of your people. Few like them have ever been in my experience, though I would like to meet this sister of yours. . . Jaessa. Hmmmm, yes, but what I can tell you is that the answers you seek are within you. And only you will find them. Hoom, But now we must part for a while. Bay is drawing to an end, yet Gandalf says you must go ere nightfall.”
“Yes, we must go and go now,” said Gandalf, “I fear that I must take your gatekeepers from you. But you will manage well enough without them.”
“Maybe I shall,” said Treebeard, “But I shall miss them. We have become friendly in so short a time that I think I must be getting hasty. But there, they are the first new thing under Sun or Moon that I have seen for many a long, long day. I shall not forget them.”
The sun was sinking behind the long western arm of the mountains when Gandalf and his companions set out again from Isengard. The road passed slowly, winding down the valley. Legolas’s thoughts were constantly turned to Zandra. She was very quiet and withdrawn again. Was it perhaps his comment? Or was it that strange ball?
At last they halted. Thorn bushes grew thick upon the low banks of a small dale, and under them they made their camp, two hours or so before the middle of the night. They lit a fire in a hollow, down among the roots of a spreading hawthorn.
Guards were set, two at a watch. The rest, after they had eaten something, wrapped themselves in a cloak and blanket and slept.
Legolas found himself unable to sleep. Something was bothering Zandra. She slept, but it was a restless sleep. She tossed and turned, and half cried out. She needs her sleep still, he thought in concern. She shouldn’t have come to Isengard, but rather rested and then gone on to Edoras.
Suddenly Zandra sat up, crying out, “He’s here! He’s watching, he’ll find me!”
Legolas leaped from his bed and gathered her in his arms, “Shhhh,” he soothed, “Who’s here? Who’s watching?”
“Sauron! His eye is here!”
Suddenly there was a piercing cry from a little away from the camp. The guards called out, and soon all the camp was astir.
“Where is it?” Gandalf’s voice called out, “The Stone is gone!”
“Over there,” Zandra whispered, pointing in the direction of the scream, “it’s there.”
“Gandalf!” Legolas called, “Zandra says it is over on that hill.”
Without a word the Wizard left in that direction, and several others followed.
Zandra lay there in his arms for a time, her body stiff her face buried in his chest. Then abruptly she relaxed, and began to sob softly.
“Shhh, my love, it is all right, he shall not take you again!”
“That Stone! It is evil!” she cried convulsively. “Whenever it is uncovered I can feel him searching, searching. . . searching. . .”
Her crying slowed, and her breathing deepened as exhaustion overcame her again. Not wanting to disturb her he continued to cradle her in his arms, though he was curious to the fate of the Stone.
At that moment a shadow fell over them. The bright moonlight seemed to be suddenly cut off. Legolas heard several of the Riders cry out, and he tightened his hold on Zandra protectively as a blind fear and a deadly cold fell on him. A shudder ran through Zandra, and he looked down at her to find her staring fearfully upwards. He followed her gaze to see a vast Winged shape pass over the moon like a great black cloud. It wheeled and went north, flying a t a speed greater than any wind of Middle Earth. The stars fainted before it. It was gone.
“Dyryn.” Zandra whispered. “That was Dyryn.”
Legolas almost asked what she meant, but the anguish in her eyes stopped him.
“Nazgul!” he heard Gandalf cry, “The messenger of Mordor. The storm is coming. The Nazgul have crossed the River! Ride, ride! Wait not for the dawn! Let not the swift wait for the slow! Ride!”
Legolas and Zandra both came to their feet, and began making ready to leave. Legolas called to Arod and Serilla.
Quickly they stowed their things behind Serilla’s saddle. Legolas moved to mount Arod, but a soft touch on his arm stopped him.
“Legolas I must tell you . . .” she paused, uncertainty foremost in her gaze.
“Yes?” he prompted.
“Dyryn . . .” she stopped again, as though the words refused to come.
“That’s what you called the Nazgul. Is that another word from your tongue?” he asked, though the foreboding in his breast told him it was not so.
“No, . . . that’s his name. The man I told you . . . I had thought I loved . . . he was . . . the Witch-king of Angmar.”