Denethor, deluded, and quite crazy, takes Faramir to the tombs with the intent of burning him and himself, due to the fact he believes there is no hope left for Minas Tirith, and the rest of Middle Earth. However, Faramir is not dead; but he is running a high fever, and is very ill. Denethor sends Pippin out of his service, and Pippin goes. He does not, however, abandon Faramir. He tells Beregond (another Guard of the Citadel) of what is happening. Beregond does not leave immediately, for it is against the law of the city for a Citadel Guard to leave his post while on duty. Pippin runs down to the gates of the city to see Gandalf. He is very worried, and frightened for Faramir's life.
He informs Gandalf of what is happening, and Gandalf hurries up to the tombs with Pippin. On the way, he tells Prince Imrahil to take charge of the city in the Lord's absense. When Gandalf and Pippin reach the citadel and the tombs, they see that Beregond has left his post, and the guard of the tomb has been slain, and his keys taken. The door to the tomb is wide open. The group manage to save Faramir in time, but it is too late for Denethor. Clutching the Palantir in his hands, he sets himself on fire.