All their ways had changed or were buried in fallen rock. Northward the elves and mortal-flesh sought for the child, for many days, without rest. “Were he hidden among these hills,” said one to Zhera’, “he would not know the way back now.”
“I see so, he may be wandering along the coast, or Northplains?”
“These frozen lands north are turning to mire, even amid this winter, some heat underneath raises fogs of sickly hue, cloud and reek that leaves men stripped of flesh. Though further north, these are found; and not so far for a child to stray, even one as hearty and wild-wise as Dyacôm, who is not dead.”
“Other realms there are than Hitherlands and the Dead,” Izilba entered the passage they had been repairing, “He may be among those lilies, resting far on unstained shores, though lonely for his mother and father,” and she and Zhera’ could not keep from weeping again, falling to their knees, silently calling on the Powers, even Eru in High Heaven, to attend to their child, until they came to him.
Through mid-winter they search the coasts, hoping to find him stowed well and happy in the old sea wains, but he was not. Here it was the couple, love bound and yet colder in this unknowing grief and guilt of rest, of food, of clothing, pillow, all that was good, their son maybe had naught. She insisted, and would not be altered, to take a single wain up along the coast, though in her mind she purposed to paddle, if the wind helped not, to Elvenhome on the Lonely Isle, and find her boy amid the flowering mead ever springing forth. “Light and Crafty I commit to their father, and we shall meet again.” “Though not on these shores,” he replied.
A second wain she accepted, though planning to send it adrift to more swiftly sail to Elvenhome. Weeping turned to laughter and back to grief, as the couple held one another, clasped around Izilba’s neck, and she his waist. The elves hid their faces, and led the twins up the path to await Zhera’. He handed her the black sword, thinking of the day she pulled it from the waxen cube, and with babe on hip drew it out from the cave spirit-haunted, ever grieving. The sword spoke to his mind, this one time concealing its thought to Izilba, telling Zhera’ gladly he would hang from his hip, and serve him, and his son also, promising to discover the boy, even if in the Lower Airs.
“Two months, let us meet again,” she said looking up to his eyes, taking the sword, “and if the trapper find me not again, never will I fade on these grey shores.”
“Other realms beyond, unburdened by grief, children are raised amid the Endless Name, in his light become great.”
“Our bonds lead thither,” she replied, and climbed into the wain, and oared herself out to sea, careless of the fading light.
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