I went back over some of my older posts, and realized I had already put up most of chapter six back in June. Today's post is one of the missing scenes, and it takes place immediately after the battle scene found here, and before the scene found here. I also have 2 missing scenes needed in chapter six that I still haven't written - just notes on what needs to go there. At the time, I got a bad case of writers' block, so I just decided to skip ahead to the next chapter in order to keep my momentum. It worked, but I will eventually need to go back and write those scenes.
* * *
It took them eight days to walk from the battle site back to Fanyamar. Balfrith would drag Eldamir’s litter for the first few hours in the morning, then Lofdar would take over for a few hours into the afternoon, and finally Balfrith would finish up the day. This freed Lofdar to ensure they were on the correct path when they started out in the morning and as they finished up the day’s travel. When Lofdar was dragging the litter, he would call out directional corrections to Balfrith as needed, using some sense of the sun’s position overhead, the way the shadows fell among the trees, and, Balfrith could only assume, some sort of magic - how else could he navigate the wild forest with no obvious path, no map of landmarks, and no clear view of the sky?
Eldamir slept day and night for several days. Lofdar didn’t seem concerned about it, although Balfrith had seen Men fall into similar deep slumbers and never awaken. But Lofdar insisted that Eldamir needed the rest, and that he would awaken when he was ready. Practically immortal, indeed, thought Balfrith. And then he remembered Belanor - but not invulnerable.
Lofdar changed Eldamir’s bandages morning and evening, wiping the wound clean with the same clear liquor that he’d used on the first day, and then covering it with a bit of clean dry cloth. As Lofdar had predicted, it neither bled nor festered - to Balfrith’s surprise and relief. And Eldamir slept on.
They were a day from the city, late in the afternoon, when Eldamir finally awakened. He opened his eyes and raised his head, saying, “Balfrith? Where are we?”
Balfrith, who had just taken over the litter from Lofdar an hour before, turned his head at the sound of his friend’s voice, and then dropped the litter when he realized Eldamir was awake.
“Ouch!” grumbled Eldamir, as he bounced on the soft earth.
Balfrith, too excited to even notice, shouted out ahead of them, “Lofdar, come quick! Eldamir is awake!”
Lofdar came jogging back to them, and smiled when he saw Eldamir. “Good to see you awake finally, Eldamir,” he said. “I was beginning to think you would sleep all the way home.”
“Oh, we’re not there yet? In that case, wake me when we get there,” Eldamir said, smiling faintly.
Ignoring the jest, Lofdar knelt by Eldamir to check his wound. He reached down and peeled back the bandage, to reveal the stitched gash, the flesh around it still an angry red, but there was no sign of bleeding or suppuration.
Eldamir winced as the bandage was pulled back, but he looked down to see it too. Lofdar said, “It is mending well, as I expected it would, but you need to rest for another week, and even after you start moving around, you won’t be able to do any hard work for some time. Your recovery will not be a fast one - but you will recover.”
“My thanks, Lofdar. Apparently I was injured worse than I had first thought. The pain was not great, and I fought on even after the goblin gave me that little cut.” Then, looking around, he asked, “Where are Glendir and the others?”
Lofdar answered, “Glendir and Sambir have gone north and south to find the nearest Guardians, and tell them what happened. They will need to cover our gap as we return to Fanyamar.”
Eldamir nodded, but then looked around and asked, “And Belanor - is he with us?”
Lofdar was silent. Finally Balfrith said, “Belanor fell to goblin arrows. Glendir and Sambir stayed back to bury him.” Eldamir’s face hardened, and he said nothing, but the look in his eyes was filled with mixed anger and sorrow.
Lofdar said, “Eldamir, drink this, then close your eyes and rest. There will be time to give you the full tale later. For now, we must keep moving. Your healing will come faster in your own bed, rather than this rough litter.” He held his flask of liquor to Eldamir’s lips, letting him take a small swallow. Then he stood up, looking around and taking his bearings. “Balfrith, are you ready to follow?”
“Aye, let’s go,” he said, standing. He turned to grasp the poles of Eldamir’s litter, lifting it up so that he was ready to begin dragging it again. Eldamir was asleep before Balfrith took his first step.