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There’s much to be done in this place, but all in good time, and there is no clear direction. They each wander off to do their own biddings, and Olórin, for a time, has old friends to visit, one glowing, golden face in particular to see. But those blue eyes don’t yet need him, so he trails back north, where new grass has grown and all the blood of the last age has long since been swallowed in the earth. He sits, for a while, against an oak not yet awake, and thinks on things—what he should do and what he must leave for others.

The dark of night has come and gone three times before anything happens, and if it didn’t, he’d probably stay twice as long—it’s a tall, wide land he’s come to. But it’s full of many creatures, and the cry of a bird overhead lifts his eyes passed the brim of the withered grey hat he uses to hide from the rain. It’s a familiar shape, a great bird, larger than the mortal kind but still tiny for what it is, and it spirals around the hill Olórin rests on. The baby eagle swoops low enough to catch his eye, and its beak parts to let out a piercing wail of curious ‘hello.’

Then a smudge of black whizzes through the clear air, and the eagle, shrieking in pain, plummets down. Olórin’s standing in a heartbeat, his arms reaching up and feet flying to place him under it. He catches the bird in one arm, cradles it against his chest, and whirls in place. His staff arches out, and lightning splits the sky. The orc that shot the arrow is struck down one step out of the forest. With a puff of breath, Olórin sends a sweeping wind the way it came that should deter any others. The eagle’s writhing in his grasp, the damage already done.

The enemy dips its arrows in poison. It’s a cruel fate, but the eagle isn’t condemned to it—Olórin sinks back to the soft earth with the eagle in his lap. Its wing is crooked, bent around the jagged spike and gushing feathers. Olórin makes a soothing sound as he rips the arrow out, and the eagle screams and contorts for a moment until his words and touch can calm it. He tells it, “You will be well, my friend,” and holds the wing straight, stroking brittle bones and thin flesh and bristling feathers back into place. A few more words and the job is done; the wing looks as it did before evil touched it.

The eagle rolls like some round, fuzzy creature right-side up, talons testing the thick robe across Olórin’s lap. Then it straightens to its proper height, flexes its wings, and tucks its head into the newly-healed one, inspecting where the damage has disappeared. When the eagle looks back to Olórin, the gratitude in its eyes makes the journey across the sea and the tie to these troubled lands already worth the trouble. His job won’t always be to meddle, but when it is, he’ll hope for this: for unfairly broken things made right again.

In its strange, chirping voice, the eagle says, I will not forget this, and asks, What is your name?

And he answers in a similar tongue, clicking to mimic the high-picked twittering, “Olórin, though I may have another by the time we meet again.”

Then the bird gives a nod, likely understanding more than any other in this land could, and Olórin gives it a toss into the air. It catches itself and spreads wide its wings, taking off to greater heights and greater things.