The Hands of the Queen Are the Hands of a Healer
(continued from "Into The Night")
At dawn three riders approach the gate. The guard is still on full alert following the battle of the previous night, and challenges the party.
"Halt! Who goes there?!"
"It is I, Lord Gwindor! Open the gate, for we have a seriously wounded man here!" This causes some uncertainty in the sergeant of the guard.
"Who is wounded, and who are the others in your party?" he calls down.
"It is General Xenograg Darelir who is wounded, and Lady Constance Alysin whom he has rescued! Now open the gate!" Gwindor barks back. Constance throws back her hood and shows her face up towards the wall.
"Open the gate, please! Lord Xenograg could die!" The sergeant of the guard looks to his lieutenant who authorizes the entry—having finished assembling a dozen men in the bailey. The gate is opened and the three enter the castle.
Teleperien comes running from her rooms at the news of Xenograg and Constance. Strangely, Gwindor is also among the arriving party. The import of that is postponed the moment Teleperien looks at Xenograg’s pale, agony-filled face. His black clothes are covered in dirt, foul ichors, and blood—some of it his own. Xenograg’s left sleeve is ripped open and soaked in blood. The arm hangs useless just below the elbow.
"Elbereth, no!" she exclaims in dread. Xenograg’s turkomen retainers lift him, screaming, from his horse and onto the ground; their strange, tonal language is unintelligible to the elven queen. The oldest of them begins examining his master. ‘The name of Xenograg’s personal physician is…Enpej!’ Teleperien knows he speaks the more common tongue.
"How bad is it, Enpej?" The physician looks up with resignation in his eyes. The moment he saw the broken bone sticking out just below Xenograg’s elbow he knew what it meant. The initial wound itself might have made surgery unavoidable, but the fracture guarantees its immediate necessity.
"It is an arm, Majesty."
"No!" howls Xenograg in despair. Four turkomen physically restrain him. Teleperien does not immediately understand, but the healer’s meaning becomes horrifying clear when he takes a thick knife and a bone saw from his satchel.
"No," Teleperien now says in a firm, commanding voice. She steps close and waves her arm. Enpej and the other turkomen tumble backwards a short distance. She looks for and sees Eönwë watching with interest. Teleperien holds up a hand as Enpej leaps to his feet and starts back to Xenograg.
"Let me," Tele now said with compassionate fervor. "I can help. Trust me."
Enpej does not understand, and knows any delay in the amputation only risks Xenograg’s very life. He lunges at Teleperien but is halted by Philippe seizing him by the collar and arm.
"Allow her to work, monsieur," Philippe said firmly. "Her touch is as of the angels."
"Aye, trust her." Constance says, laying a hand on Enpej’s shoulder and looking into his face. Either resigned or unable to intercede, Enpej slumps and watches with hopeful—yet suspicious—jealousy. Teleperien bends over the prone figure of Xenograg. His eyes are glazed over with intense pain, and his chest moves up and down in shallow breaths. Foam forms at his mouth.
"Help me, Tel." he whispers. Tele does not speak, simply touches his shoulder. She feels a white-hot wave of power flow through her. She feels him stiffen under her touch. Her hand does not glow white, but she can perceive transparent energy moving out as waves from a pebble dropped in a pond. The edges warp what she sees, as if she were looking through a prism. Her hand moves slowly down Xenograg’s lifeless arm. Sinews knit together as she watches, and the bone disappears back though the broken skin. The torn muscle and skin meld together as if no wound was ever there. Pink returns to the once white-and-blue fingers as circulation is restored. Xenogrags blinks and sighs. Teleperien stands as one, spent. She looks at Enpej.
"Examine your patient, physician," She says with a weary smile. "I deem he will be well within the day."