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The Seer (PG-13) Print

Written by Bluegerl

09 January 2013 | 4478 words

Request no. 16. The Seer.
Written for Ruby’s Story Swap
Author bluegerl
Category Lotr. Faramir, Boromir, Arwen and Éowyn.. and others.
Rating G. with a hint of PC 18.
Disclaimer. All characters in the Tolkien Saga belong to the Great Himself, but I do hope he won’t mind if I play games with them. We do so with such love and admiration for Mr. Tolkiens work.

The whisper had grown to open speech now. When the first happenings had been noted, and quiet voices sounded amazed behind bent heads, there was a certain hesitancy. Now it was spoken of naturally, as if a Seer was as normal as a blacksmith or a baker. The Seer knew the sex of babes to be born. The number of calves a cow would be bearing. A fire perhaps in a barn that held the winter’s stock of hay. That Meduselda would fall pregnant this autumn, despite her father keeping her on a tie and in her bedroom all the Springtime. I think Pernoff had forgotten that young men had strong legs and hands, and his daughter’s bedroom had a window? And if it had not even a window well-barred and shuttered, the thatch could be lifted for a lithe lover to fall through. I wonder what Pernoff remembered of his young man days?

I have to tell you of this Seer. He lives in a great city… in the land of Gondor. A city that had been battered and nearly destroyed by the Evil Wizard, Sauron, but a King had come as prophesied, and Middle Earth had been rid of this pest and his hordes of slime-bred beast-soldiers. Those were the days of great disasters, appalling losses, widows and mothers crying in the nights as they sought to bandage wounds during the day. There had been blood in the streets, not enough to eat or drink as the Wizard had tainted the well-waters.
That had been then, but this is now in the times of After, the times of peace in Minas Tirith. So small disasters became great in the minds of the sufferers. Thus became the need for a Seer, who would aid those who sought to avoid pains and disappointments. I myself have been to his bower, and received some answers, some of which I have yet to unriddle. Three so far have come true, and I bless him for that. My daughter came safe to bed of a son, and my cow which had been nearly destroyed by the bloat was saved by the knife of one who travelled. The other was my Mother-in-law, who took to her bed one thundery day, and rose two days later when the sun shone, unable to speak a word. Praise be to the Seer.

He resides in the City. That is known, but exactly where … if it is known – it is not spoken. He has a tall white tower that one must visit for a reading of the hand or the cards. He will call you if you have dire need of the Palantir. That is an expensive and sometimes dangerous visit, and cannot be guaranteed to give peace of mind or reassurance. In fact it is a dark and dangerous reading to desire.

When I went to see him, he – or was it a woman, a witch, or an other being? There were candles in the bower, which was decorated most bizarrely with bones displayed and skulls lit from within. Flowers were in abundance, and small smoking sticks which perfumed the air with spices. I had been given a draught before entering, out of hospitality I thought, and I drank it as one would a slightly honeyed juice. Thereafter I think my mind became a little woolly, as I could hear voices but from a distance, and when my hand sought the edge of the chair, it held nothing. However, it was not alarming, these sensations when one sat and asked the question, and the figure pulled back a long sleeve to lift the stones, or hold an amulet. I prefer the amulet, a pendulum, held over hands or maps or drawings. It can be most precise.

These days it is becoming difficult to obtain a rendezvous or an appointment with The Seer, as he is so busy; he is not always available. I fear he is otherwise occupied with duties of a different sort elsewhere? The hand that I watched so carefully holding the pendulum was a man’s hand, with a golden-haired arm. The wrist was strong, of youngish age, not old certainly, for all the wisdom the voice utters. The hand is clean, the nails shapely, but the palm has old callouses, skin hardened from gripping. I saw one white scar across the whole back of the other hand as it pulled back the sleeve – most certainly a scar from a sword or knife. I suspect those hands have held military arms, and the reins of warhorses, even as they might have gentled the cheeks of a wife. The voice is quiet, but has a depth, which reminds me a little of our Steward. the lord Boromir, when he is at peace. A timbre that has a lilt, or an accent – it is hard to define. He is most certainly not of the common herd, and is acutely educated. His riddles he gives require study, and I find myself in the Library of the Castle often, and see that the Lord Faramir is also spending quite a time there. We share a love of poetry and ‘contes’, and I had asked him to help me solve my one riddle. When I told him later about my Mother-in-law, he laughed and clapped me on the back in joyful acceptance we had solved that riddle rightly.

The Lord Steward was passing one day as I was on my way to the Carpenter’s halls, as I have to check on the work he does as part of my work as Keeper of the Furnishings, when he held my sleeve.

“Pray Master Corrodas, I hear you have had experience of this Seer? This one who can see the future? Tell me, did you find this wizard effective?”

“My Lord, he is no Wizard, not like our Lord Gandalf, or the Evil One. Yes, I have been to see him, as have many others, and he has been excellent in his forecasts. I can recommend if you have cause to have a question answered.”

“Oh, me? Not really, I don’t have that sort of thing to worry about. I’m too busy… but how does one see him? Does one just knock, or walk into his Tower? One does not simply walk in on a Seer I should think?”

“Oh, it is necessary to write only your name and place of residence on a small note, and leave it under the Mithredil bush in the bird box there. Then a note will find its way back to you. He seems to know how deep is the question too, because the price is always stated on the note, and you haven’t even asked the question yet.”

“Well, that sounds impressive. So he mind-reads a note? Hah. Sounds a bit far-fetched to me. I don’t think I’ll bother seeing him. I might be better having a chat with Arwen, or … hmmm. No, not a Seer. A little pillow-talk will solve my problem, I think. Good-day to you Master Corrodos.”

Boromir strode off toward his offices whistling in an offhand sort of manner. He didn’t convince me though, I think he has something on his mind… probably to do with his King. The Lord Boromir worries incessantly about King Elessar, worse than does the King’s wife. He is a strange man for one so strong and such a brave warrior….

Boromir was worried. He did worry all the time. He worried if he was still a good enough Steward with the work he did, and leaving Faramir to become the Archivist and Recorder. Faramir would be disappearing at odd ours and when asked where he’d been, he’d always say ‘researching’ and ‘recovering testimonies’ and such words. Boromir assumed it was all going to be written down for the historians of the future. Certainly Faramir was seen in some strange parts of the Castle, and quite often up near the smaller of the White Towers.

Boromir was also worried about his own relationship with his King. He’d no battles to fight for him any more; he’d not the need to stand behind, back to back, fighting off death and injury with his great sword, while Aragorn did the same for him. He wanted to save his King’s life, daily… because he loved him beyond all reason. At present it was just making love, making needful precious actions that made his love groan loudly for more, or harder. Boromir enjoyed serving his King’s needs, and his lover’s – and being his opponent sometimes, when Aragorn was feeling stroppy and needed to let off steam. Then they would retire to the practice grounds and strip. Riding bareback, in hot sun or freezing rain, they’d strike at one another with the pommes, the padded lances, or the powder maces, until they were both exhausted from exercise, from the thumps of the strikes, or from laughing and giggling if one was unseated, flying through the air, with all exposed bouncing merrily. to land in a fountain of dust or a splashing of mud. Boromir did sometimes wonder if perhaps a Sam Gamgee might be a useful person to have around right then, to ensure no danger came from idiotic behaviour, because he had to admit, they were, for grown men, idiotic sometimes.

He resolved to make an appointment with the Seer. Late that night, he sneaked down to the birdbox ‘neath the mithredil bush and left his own little note. Unsigned, of course, it wouldn’t do to have the whole Castle know that the Steward wished to have his fortune told! Boromir thought if this guy was any good at being a Seer as the Keeper of Furnishings said he was, then he’d know who the request was from! That would prove something.

Four days later, Boromir donned his plainest clothing and ‘went for a walk’ as he told his staff. He detoured round the streets, and gradually worked his way up and up until he could stroll insouciantly into the courtyard of the White Tower as if he was going up there for the view.

He entered into the cool shade of the hall, and was greeted by a quiet footfall from a robed figure indicating that he follow it. Boromir felt a little wish that he had brought his sword, but then dismissed it as superfluous…. he had his dagger in his boot. He was offered a small citrus smelling drink, and required to sit upon a padded couch. He sat and sipped. He’d waved his ring over the drink to check it was not a poison, and the ring remained a clear blue, the colour of his King’s eyes when the King was happy. Boromir was here to ask why his lover’s eyes were so often far away and a misty grey.

The bower was dark although outside the sun was bright enough to bring tears to the eyes. Boromir trod soft upon the thick carpets, and felt rather than saw the carved seat before a shining ebony table. His eyes adjusted slowly, as they seemed just slightly blurred, and his hands felt a little – distant? It was no bother, and Boromir let his wrists rest on the edge of the circular darkness.

“Your question Lord Steward, is on the contentment of our King Elessar with you, your performance as his Steward, his lover, his advisor, his opponent in practice, in fact, whatever you do, you wish to know his pleasure levels with you?”

Boromir leant forward. He had no idea that this worry had shown so clearly in his face, his demeanor. He thought he hid his fears sufficiently well that no-one was aware. Not even Arwen his King’s Queen who knew him as well almost as her husband. Boromir amended that, not as quite as well.

He coughed the dryness of his throat away. “Er, yes, in fact, Yes, I do. I worry about him, and whether I please him sufficiently. Don’t all lovers worry about that?”

The Seer leant back, his hands hidden behind the decorated silken sleeves. Boromir looked at the embroidery, and it seemed vaguely familar. The colours? The design…. His thoughts were brought sharply back.

“You wish the Palantir?”

Palantir… that was a bit close to home. A very dark request… how bad was his position with Elessar, his Aragorn, what had he done to warrant a Palantir question….

His voice was gritty, harsh. “If needs be. If I have erred so badly I need a Palantir to advise. Then, I will listen, as I will need.”

“Close your eyes. Rest for one moment. – Close them!”

There was a rustle of clothing, of two lots of clothing, and breaths. Another stirring of robes and the slight creak of the chair as a body of some substance returned to it.

“Remain as you are. Relax, your eyes closed. When I say you can, open them, but be prepared for light”

Boromir rested his hands together on his lap. His eyes felt heavy, almost sleepy. He was nearly … falling…

“Ahh – No! Aah, “ The sudden exclamation brought Boromir up to grasp the table edge, his eyes wide as he gazed at the only light – the swirling interior of a circle of darkness. He couldn’t see the Seer, but he could hear him, panting.

“You are in danger. In great danger. I see great darkness to come. There is – aaah – such a noise, I cannot hear….” The Seer’s arms rose to clutch at his barely-seen head, draped in dull voile. His arms circled where his face was thrown back, but still veiled.

“You must avoid – you cannot go… not there – no, n-o-o —-not there! Be careful – be awake…. Oh oh, oh my bro…. aaah. “

Boromir half stood, leaning forward and staring over the glowing Palantir at the figure writhing beyond.

“ME? I must not go, must not go where? Why? Tell me! I cannot not go where…. if you do not say… Tell me!”

He waited, but the figure pushed back the chair, away from the now darkening globe.

“Tell me, where is it – and is Aragorn, the King in danger? Is it me? Or is it him, I must protect him! – He is to be saved from anything, everything? Tell me — who? Where? I must know!”

The Seer rose and fled from the bower… the Palantir died to a dull black. Boromir glared at it, willing it to speak to him. He was more than worried now, he was plain damned scared. Did it mean him, and him alone, or anyone with him? Where was it he hadn’t to go? When? Boromir felt sick. He needed air, and turning, rushed out, pushing past the waiting customers and stood gasping in the courtyard.

He was trembling severely, his hands barely feeling the warm granite of the wall as he leant, his knees weak, and his stomach in turmoil. He’d not been this scared since…. oh, since Amon Hen, it was that bad. He wiped a shaking hand over his face and it came away wet. What to do. could he tell anyone, speak to anyone at all about this. He’d be laughed at for such imaginings. They’d all point a finger and say Boromir going to a Seer for a love potion? and snigger, or mutter behind their hands that he was getting old, as men do, not being blessed with elf-blood however diluted.

That night Aragorn was disappointed for the first time. His lover was listless, and had inexplicable rushes of desperate needy burrowings into his shoulder and groin, and for the first time he was unable to reach his usual noisy conclusion when Aragorn cried out his name incoherently and spent himself between them. Boromir cried, great heavingh sobs. He had failed, and where was it he had not to go. Was it here? The Seer had said there was a great noise, and Aragorn was certainly noisy.

It was a most unsatisfactory night. Aragorn began to wonder if Boromir still loved him, and thought… maybe he also should to go the Seer and ask him if that was the case. Everyone went to the Seer. Boromir wouldn’t sleep, he tossed and groaned as if he had a fever, and clung on to Aragorn as if he would die if parted. Normally they would sleep wrapped together but not as if one wished to be in the other’s skin.

Morning came none too soon. It was followed by others, almost as drearily. A feeling of despondence hung like a miasma over the Castle.

Boromir was once again on his way to the Library, where he’d been reading up many tomes, blowing off the dust and seeking the answers to a question he was terrified of having clarified. He asked me where Faramir was today?

I replied “He seemed to be everywhere walkiing round all the city. He had been doing this for the last few days. He had papers and rulers in his hand and was making detailed notes. He seemed to be very interested in heights, in tall things. The tops of towers, the finish on the walls, the ramparts. The belltowers and the semaphore firetowers. He was watching every tall building. I cannot ascertain for what he is looking my Lord . I have tried asking.”

“Never mind, I shall have to catch him and tie him down to giving me a reason. Still, I have much to do, it’s the entry of Elrond again this month, and I still have all the programme to finish. We’re using the Main Gate this time, instead of the East, it’s wider, and the sun will enhance all the banners. Just check that we have enough chairs again, will you?”

There was the usual air of subdued excitement in the city. People were happy to see Elves in their glory enter Minas Tirith, and so they decorated their houses, and hung flowers and tapestries from windows and walls. The smell of baking drifted beneath appreciative noses, and roasting meats found eager plates.

Faramir had grown pale this last week. He seemed to eat little and Éowyn was distraught. “I can’t get him to sit still long enough to eat, Arwen, he just won’t. He sits there and pokes at it, then throws his fork down, and storms around the room, beating at the furniture until I swear his hands must hurt so. What is it Arwen, can you even think? We love, or we did, and even that is not as it used to be. He no longer seeks out Legolas, and as for me, it is as if he is fighting Uruks again.”

Arwen tutted, and patted her hand.“There’s a general malaise around my dear, these men have their own problems, and are so very bad at expressing them. I think they need a good battle or something. Too much maleness building up perhaps. A good something to use it all up would be nice. No battles though, I don’t really like the idea of fighting any more. Something… but we, being merely their wives, must wait and be patient. We will find out for sure.”

The Entry Day began so well. The sun shone on fine dew, the streets were immaculate, the tall Towers of the Gate stood shining white in the morning light, and by midday would glow with such a brilliance. Elrond’s camp had made a good night of it on the plains outside, and prepared their always joyous entry to see their family.

With trumpets and clarions, shawms and pipes, drums pounding and horses neighing – the noise was tremendous. When the cheers of the citizens rang out, the Towers seemed to shimmer in the uproar. Elrond, his Court and followers rode beneath the arch. The King had to wait on the Upper Courtyard beside the White Tree, but Boromir, his hardworking faithful Steward was there, in splendid robes of purple and silver, green and gold, was to ride up and greet the King of Elves.

The cheers rang even louder as the first horses clattered echoing under the first arch. Boromir rode forward, grinning from ear to ear as the drums crashed and boomed, thudded and made noises that should not have been heard. The Towers shimmered violently, nay, shook, and pieces of rock began to descend. A powder of white clouded the sky, and then the crack appeared in the Belltower beside the Gate.

The Belltower was falling, and nothing could stop it. Faramir flung himself forward, took Boromir’s horse by the reins, turned it and slapped his sword hard on the animal’s belly. It reared and surged off, with Boromir barely in the saddle. Faramir looked up, just in time to see the vast bronze bell descend like a gaping maw. It shook the ground with such a sound, that Mount Doom woke and glowed suddenly. Faramir had disappeared beneath its huge ‘O’ of a mouth. All mouths around were shaped in that same roundness but the screams could not be heard for the sound of the falling bell had taken the ears from all. The dust settled in an enormous sky of silence.

I cannot tell you, as I am gasping with tears as I recall that afternoon. The frozen shock that began an urgent scrabbling amongst the stones, broken rocks and timbers for the several persons that had been overcome by this catastrophe. I remember running and falling on my knees beside a great piece of bronze with edges so sharp they cut my robe-skirt like a knife. I bled as my arms pulled this heavy curve away, and delved beneath for the brave Faramir who had saved his brother by his actions. Two more portions of bell had to be lifted, groaning, heaved aside before we found Faramir, curled under the hammerbeam, barely visible under the dust and broken rubble. His fair hair was white with the chalkdust, and his eyes, so blue when open, were closed, and he looked so calm. So at peace. I felt as if I had died before I could kneel and put two fingers to his neck and search – pray – and search for his heart to be beating. It was there, faint, and fluttery, but there. I smiled into the face of Boromir who had flung himself from his horse and run back to the shambles, crying out his brother’s name, again and again. His tears were shining tracks down his face through the dust he had raised in climbing up the mountain of stone and broken tower.

Faramir lived. The world began to return to sound. Cries, orders, urgent voices, but above all, we could hear, when ears were close-laid to Faramir’s body, his heart beating.

Later, back in the Castle, the Healers had been called to treat the seven others who had been mutilated or injured, and of course Aragorn himself had checked Faramir. Apart from a deep and nasty cut on his head, a very bad bruise on his back and thigh with promise of very painful muscles, he was almost untouched. It had been the white from the chalk-dust that had given him the appearance of death and he now lay, propped on soft pillows of goosedown, smiling with those bright blue eyes at his brother, who was still occasionally sobbing with relief. Boromir had been utterly consumed with remorse and self-negation …. he couldn’t help but listen, word for word, to the cries of The Seer when he had said… ‘don’t go under there, oh my bro…!” He was the only one who had heard those words uttered. Those words… ‘oh my bro…!”

The gossip round the castle after that was of course, the bravery of Faramir.

At dinner some days later a casual question from Éowyn “Why were you at the Main Gate, Faramir, I thought you were supposed to be at the Ascent Hill? Did you want to get a special notice from anyone in the Elf-Kings’sCourt? Like Legolas? You’ve been seeing him again I know!”

Faramir turned pink. He looked down at his plate, and then grinned “I – yes , I did. I’d been beastly to Legolas.” Turning to Boromir, “I hope you didn’t mind… I should have been at the Ascent, but … I somehow… well… felt…”

“You knew you had to be there, little brother. Oh, you knew!” Boromir grinned and raised his glass. “I can see through you!” And he grinned even more widely, drinking to the bottom of his goblet.

Arwen smiled at the two. “I always think there’s a special bond between brothers. They seem to be able to foresee dangers or happinesses for the other. Don’t you think so, dearest husband?”

“I haven’t the slightest idea, wife, as you know perfectly well I don’t have any brothers, or sisters come to that. In a way, with the trouble these two give each other sometimes, I’m glad I don’t. But it is curious, Faramir, what did make you come to the Main Gate? As if you could foretell that you’d have to belt your brother’s horse with your sword? The horse didn’t like it one bit. You nearly had Boromir off!”

Faramir played with his bread. He looked up at Boromir, with a pleading look in his eyes. Boromir smiled the smile he gave Faramir when he loved him as more than a brother, as if Faramir and he were one, in support, in friendship, and with great love.

“Well, we all know that Faramir has the second sight. He knows when Legolas is feeling particularly randy, and I am in need of assistance with the invoices. He can please Éowyn with a sudden plucking of a rose, and his horse with a carrot. In fact he is the sole possessor of this second sight in our family. I badly need some myself of that wonderful ability. I just have to be told! In words! And sometimes – in song. Where is our troubadour? Sing us a jolly song of love and knightly prowess and forget that I bloody nearly fell off me horse!”

The Seer continued to give advice from his bower. Although Faramir was seen being spoken to in corners, and being accosted more often as he wandered round the City, checking walls and ramparts ….. ‘researching…’

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